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aid, but the house has yet to take up that legislation. earlier this month both chambers passed a bill that provides $9.7 billion to cover flood insurance claims filed by individuals whose homes were damaged by the hurricane. you can watch the house committee meeting live at 5 p.m. eastern here on c-span2. >> remarks now by google executive chairman eric schmidt. he spoke last month at the world in 2013 festival hosted by the economists magazine. he talked about his company's new innovations and the impact of technology on society. the festival was held in new york city. it featured speakers from the feeds of business, government, technology and the media who gave their perspectives on issues in the new year. this is about 35 minutes. >> thank you all. that's an introduction to our conversation on technology, so please welcome eric schmidt, executive chairman of google. [applause]
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>> thank you very much. good to be here. >> first of all, i do want to thank you very much, eric, for stepping in at such short notice. >> where i was actually planning on coming anyway. [laughter] because it's such a nice event. >> are coming and speaking in public are two slightly different thicks, so thank you very much. i wallet to ask you about, we have a load of questions for you from the floor as well. but i want to ask you about how technology will change our lives in various different ways in 2013. so let's -- what i taught we might do is start small and then go, and then pan out and go bigger. so in the publication, the world in 2013, we make mention a number of, actually, google initiatives that are sort of fascinating in the way that they might change lives. one is google glass. so the idea of wearable computing. is that really going to be
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something that is going to be seen more and more next year and beyond that? >> the technology works, and if you haven't looked at google glass, it's a little sort of glass that fits right above your normal focal plane. they don't put it right in your eye, they put it right above. it can show a video, it has a camera and can give you updates, and it also has a toggle. there are obvious uses for your daily lyes. we've never had a device that recorded or could record what you saw contemporaneously. think about it. >> so -- [laughter] so how will we use it? how -- >> well, we don't know. >> are we going to start crashing into all sorts of thingses because we're looking at our -- >> well, hopefully, there will be telemetry that will tell you you're about to trip. [laughter] but i think the simple answer is whenever the digital world can see what the analog world doing,
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we get interesting possibilities. whether it's the obvious things like, you know, people who are working on fixing eye glasses and medical applications to more interesting ones involving performers who then show the audience what they see in addition to what the audience sees of the performer. there are many, many creative -- [inaudible] >> okay. >> we viewed this at the new york fashion show where some of the models were actually wearing it. you could see what they saw as you looked at them wearing the newest fashions. >> so that was one of the things, one of the -- eye-catching, literally, trends. in other words, the whole world of driverless cars -- >> there is a driver, the driver's just doing something else. [laughter] >> okay. >> i've been in this thing. it's -- so you know, a lexus rx450, and there's a button, and then you just take your hands off the wheel, the steering wheel, and it just goes along. and it takes on average about 20
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minutes for the person to stop freaking out. we've been studying this extensively, because there's cameras in the car. [laughter] for the first 20 minutes, their faces are ashen, and they're watching the car drive. so my experience, my first 20 minutes is i'm a more cautious driver than our cars are. so i saw, of course, traffic slowing down and the potential accident up front. and i would have, you know, i saw it ahead, but nevertheless the car did it exactly right. when the car in front of you lurches like this, you do too, and you can see that the ai system is deciding whether it has an escape lane or whether it's going to have to slam on the brakes, and it can do it faster than you can. >> so at the moment, just to be clear, these are experimental vehicles. you're not about to see one -- well, you move so slowly in new york anyway, that it wouldn't make much difference. [laughter] >> it's not going to make much difference in new york, but in california you're 65 miles an hour, you click it up, and you're a sports car. we race priuses against each
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other, and we have a driverless prius against a human-driven prius, and the driverless prius wins every time. >> so just to get a sense of -- >> and -- >> increasing numbers of these are actually -- >> and over the next few years, you'll see a lot of them. >> i think five years' time, there'll be -- >> we don't really know, but that's a reasonable estimate. it's important to understand these things have to have two fail modes. so you really don't want to have mechanical systems that have sickle points of failure -- single points of of failure. we want to have duals so, you know, dual sets of brake controls, dual ways of controlling the steering and those kinds of things, and those are in development. well, we're obviously having fun with this as a subject. if you know someone who has lost someone in a traffic accident in america, you understand why we're doing this. 30,000 people -- we don't even
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cover it in the news anymore, it's so common. and by the way, that's a record low death rate given miles driven. we're doing better, 30,000 -- which is ten times more than the number of people killed in 9/11 -- every year. this is terrible. so if we could make a significant dent on that, we should do it. >> i was talking earlier about the internet going increasingly mobile this coming year is the year when there will be more, at least by some measures, internet-connected devices that are mobile rather than fixed. so this is all part of that trend in a way. this is things and devices that are on the move that are connected up. do you see that as being something that changes fundamentally the way we use that technology? >> i think all of us looking at the age of audience, many of us lived in a model where there was, basically, network platforms, standard pcs or so forth that were pretty much controlled by either architecture or vendor in the
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case of the pc model. what we're seeing now is an explosion in different kinds of devices whether it's mobility and so forth and so on. we don't know exactly how it'll play out. what we do know is the mobile devices are quickly surpassing any picked use, any of the macs and pcs are being left in the dust. the number, give you an example with android which is now the number one platform in mobile computing. it's about five times larger in its current sale than the iphone -- always an interesting fact for people -- more than 500 million in installed base. it'll be a billion sometime next year. we're turning on 1.3 million of these phones or devices every day globally. so the scale of this in terms of reach and impact, and, you know, we talk about it here and, you know, here in new york you're lucky if the phone system works, so it's kind of like an improvement in your life. [laughter] and new yorkers are pretty sophisticated anyway. imagine when this device shows up in your developing country
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village, right, with access to all the world's information. it's really life changing. >> i want to ask you about video because we have a question here from somewhere anonymously, what makes the video go viral? and i was wondering whether that was partly "gangnam style". >> yes. psy is the record. his name is psy park. if you haven't heard this, your children have. it's the greatest dance style, you know, ever. [laughter] and last week, last week he surpassed justin bieber as the most popular sort of phenomena on the net. the video answer is even more interesting -- >> but you have within caught gang name p styling. >> let's just say he's a much better dancer than i will ever be. >> did you go viral? >> yes, unfortunately. [laughter] the scope and scale of video online is much larger than people appreciate.
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what is the content of the internet? turns out it's video. what's the number one source of video online? netflix. interesting. if you'd asked me ten years ago is there any scenario where people will use the internet to watch the equivalent of movies? i'd say, you've got to be kidding, it's a terrible use of the internet. and i could give you a long list of reasons why i'm right. but society has proven why i'm wrong. indeed, netflix is one and youtube is number two. and they occupy almost half of the total bandwidth of the internet. think about it. so in terms of viralty, you do something that's sort of quirky and fun. >> talking about new ways you're experimenting, i think i'm right in saying you also have energy projects. again, we have an article in the world in 2013 about the extraordinary reduction in cost
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of solar power, for example. something similar to moore's law applying to solar panels. >> it's not actually fully moore's law, there's also sort of the china law which is china overproduces to the point of bankruptcy. [laughter] which is sort of why the panels are so low. but it's close. >> but do you see technology as transforming our energy situation? >> it is. and i think although it's controversial, the fact of the matter is we should give credit to the people who invented these new forms of oil and natural gas drilling generally known as fracking, hydraulic fracking and so forth. those are american technological successes that have enabled us to sort of find more of this stuff. and, again, we can decide -- we can have a separate discussion as to how to regulate them and so forth which is very controversial. but the fact of the matter is that has materially changed the economic structure of energy in america. if you take a look at conservation and renewables which i think is, ultimately, the right answer, what you see now is the automation and
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instrumentation of passive systems. it changes,. so this goes under the term of smart building. most of the roughly 40% of the carbon emissions coming out of the u.s. are coming out of buildings. interesting. and, frankly, if you would stop heating all the buildings in new york as high as you do and you'd insulate them a lot better, you'd make a significant contribution. so you think about passive insulation is your first thing, then you think about the adoption of renewables, solar being one. it's not even as good as wind. wind is within one cent of a kilowatt equal to coal in the current structures. and that's phenomenal. so let it come down it curve. i think there's a lot of reasons to be optimistic that automation, energy use, instrumentation of use, so forth. anybody here played with something called the nest thermostat? it's a thermostat that you sort of screw into your wall, and it's allegedly possible for you to do this on your own. i think it's going to be one of
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the great sort of christmas presents from people who are sensitive about these things, and it learns what you want in temperature. it does it dynamically, and it wi-fis out what it's up to. >> so what is google's activity in the energy area? what have -- >> we have ultimately decided to fund a lot of the stuff rather than build it ourselves because we thought we were better off as a banker to it. but i'll tell you that the level of innovation in energy is equal to the level of energy in the tech world that we would normally celebrate here. >> so how does all this relate to search and your core business if is how does it -- how does it -- what is the rationale for this variety of projects that you get involved in? >> google wanted to be at the center of the information revolution, and we want to be in it in a decade and in 20 years and 30 years. so what we're trying to do is we're trying to be part of what will happen. and we're not always perfect, and we do make mistakes. one of the more interesting things we've done is in kansas city where we have wired up a
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small number of houses now, and we're beginning to seriously implement it across the city, one gigabit of ethernet. and you say, well, do i really need one gig -- gigabit? think about 40 how your world -- how hour world could change. there's no difference between your computer and the computer center that it talks to. they're literally in one room together. it allows all the different media that we so carefully have husbanded into this group and this group, they all go away because you can handle as many dvds as you want, all the media all dynamically and all realtime on this format. so if the technology works, and so far the results are fantastic, right? if the business work, so far it looks like it's going to be a very profitable business, it may be possible for us and others to wire the new world at a gigabit. and that's the next step change from roughly today, give you an example, your average performance is on the order of
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100 times less than that. >> but i want to come back to the search. i mean, is the -- when you look at these initiatives, do you try also to bring them back to how they can make money for google? >> we don't, we have the luxury of not worrying than as much -- [laughter] because we try not to worry about these things. right? it's a luxury. we have the luxury of time because our core revenue engine is so strong. our success in search comets, and -- continues, and the way to think about search is to think that search is imperfect because it gives you a lot of choices. we would like to be able to give you the one answer that's correct. and so if -- and, again, you have to opt in, and it is all voluntary and that kind of stuff. the more information you tell us about yourself, the more accurate the result can be. the next generation of search will be much more targeted at you. and, in fact, we may be able to get to the point where we suggest what you should be
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surgerying for. [laughter] -- searching for. i guess that'll be our motto. so, you know, here you are in a strange city, and we know that you are a history buff. so as you walk along the streets of new york, we tell you the history of the street. it's easy enough. it's very easy for us to figure that out, it's very easy for us to generate those searches. you can imagine that the union of the mobile platform, the cloud computing platform and the information platform gives us unprecedented vision into what you both are thinking about and you might want to think about as suggestions and, again, if you should opt in to that. ..
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you will publish a book, because it's been announced -- >> the contract has been signed. >> you and google idea director are publishing a book called the new digital age. so can you give us an idea, a little preview of what the book is going to cover? and some of the things you been talking about. >> we sat down over the last 18 months, talked to people about whether the technology was going. but more important how society would adapt to it. and we came to the end of the book with a very optimistic view, a simple way of thinking about it, let's go back to the economist. what does the economist cover?
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it covers dictators, corruption, technological innovation, health care issues and general sort of -- >> google occasionally. >> last week on the cover, and covered up as well. let's go through each of those. so how do you solve the bad dictator problem? the power of the citizen. and it was the dictator is going to shut down the internet and shoot everybody, which they're getting desperate enough to do, it puts a real check and balance. even china which is serving not an elected country, sensitive to public criticism. if you look at the train accident, w.h.o., which is there vision -- version of twitter, ultimately this fellow was seen as a seen as god is now on his way to prison because of corruption. think about the terrible things that go on in the world, the people who were at the whim of the police chief or minority's or the terrible status women are
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treated in much of the developing world. we will have games. you can out anonymously report them. you can imagine a network were a bad thing is occurring, you reported unanimously. you can build those kinds of networks and data and develop an epic fact that everybody is connected has large numbers of step folks. let's talk about health care. we were talking earlier in the video about 2050 about health care. people sort of snickered when the gentlemen mentioned to us, the fda just approved the first bill that you can swallow that has a digital chip in it that wi-fi is out what is going on in your stomach. to all of us basically would like to know what's going on with her nutrition. here's a simple solution. will you take this bill? you will. and you will because it is your health, and ultimately it will be in your best interest. we did a series of seminars on
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transdermal patches which are sort of skin than, sort of services that you put on your skin and they have among other things, they use the energy of your body to power a wi-fi connection which then monitors what's going on inside your body. so all of a sudden a wi-fi set to your phone. your phones as you're in big trouble, call the doctor to doctor doctor called you back. what a shock. calls and says get to the hospital right now. there's so many examples where the digitization and instrumentation of the world using a combination of mobile devices, and i pretty everybody in this room has a mobile device on the right now. if i wind up and grabbed it from you, you thought i was stealing the most important thing you ever have. but i'm not going to. over and over again what we've seen is when we empower people with information act and act within ways that make -- >> one of the energy mention was
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democracy. the example you gave was in some of the less democratic parts of the world where democracy is in short supply. and where technology can provide a check and a balance for accountability. what about true democracy. we just had a election in this country. whether any technology lessons to be drawn from this years election? >> it's always hard to reason from one event. the winners get to write history and the losers think about the next election. there's no question the obama campaign, had a technology strategy that helped elect the president. they had little processors and targeted programs and send out the vote. to me the way to say this is governments are going to change, too. because on the one hand governments have an awful time delivering services. now we can measure the. if someone as you give me some money to donate rice to the following village, we cannot
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check whether the rice got there. a check and balance on sort of the corruption. and we can test the effectiveness of programs. to give you some of the more worrisome examples, governments can know where people really are and governments can figure out where people report what they're doing versus what they're actually doing. there are all sorts of worrisome scenarios that you can imagine, the slippery slope. i'll pick one in britain. in london when you're walking the streets of london you are on a camera. those cameras are protected by law. so in the last five years technology has emerged that allows state protection to be very active. a simple rule is where the front picture of you and there are 13 pictures of you on the internet, with a 95% confidence level we can identify you. you put them there.
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or something similar. so the fact of the matter is that you begin to link these systems, and the linking has a lot of implication. for how this will play out. >> as you mentioned google and others were on the cover of the economist this last week. it was really a story of the battle you mentioned. yourselves, facebook, apple, amazon. how d.c. that battle playing out the year had? >> in the past i've called this the gang of four. actually that's such a good analysis but i think it is roughly correct. in our industry we've never had before networks scalable platforms competing at this scale. we've always had one. it was ibm and its monopoly which spent 13 years in the antitrust division. we had ibm with intel, microsoft of course went to the whole
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trial, 1997-2000. now we have at least four, and they are each run by hopefully sure people who understand what they're doing, and they are also competing and co-oping. and the reason this is relevant to you all is it's driving prices down at a rate that is phenomenal. when you look at an iphone5 make and the android competitor, you realize what amount of competition you and you got for a subsidized price of $100 or $200, it is extraordinary. win that competition is brutal by the way, i think is ultimately, it's ultimately beneficial. take a look at amazon. amazon is very controversial. roughly 50% of all the online world and the larger and larger part of the general e-commerce, again extraordinarily well-run, extraordinary deep because of its understanding of how to get things for you and so forth, incredibly convenient to take a look at facebook. if you have a billion users who
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use of you roughly every three minutes you can make money from them, which is not that complicated. you just have to figure out a way. so each of these platforms, these are typically free platforms -- platforms, each of them operate under different religious rule. the analysis i would offer, look at apple and google for example. think of these as two countries. so in the old high-tech way, one would dominate the other. the other we just -- but it's much more likely that each country which has its own religion and its own incompatible view of the other is going to have to put up with the other. and find ways to work together. and apple and google's case, for example, we can be very, very hard on the mobile world. >> and new countries, and told countries that were there but are not members of the gang of four. >> and a certain not suggesting that this is the only group. there are many potential fifth,
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twitter is one that's been suggested. netflix which i mentioned. of course, microsoft is absent in my calculation, although they certainly wish that they were. [laughter] >> we have some very good questions that relate to some of this. so, one question is, how will user data by companies such as google affect their business strategy in the 21st century? >> so what happens with all of these companies, collect a lot of data, and each of them has different rules. first, their behavior is largely going to be controlled by the european privacy laws. something called european data protectorates, which is all about what you do with a sort of big data analytics. and i think ultimately same solution is going to say that you really, that the data is
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owned by the person, not by the company. or at least cannot be used without that person's permission. and that data has to be a non-biased. i'll tell you that when we think about privacy we think about privacy and security. security is our job to our systems have to be secure. if you trust your data with us it's got cannot be available to anybody else unless it's by court of law. but privacy is something that is sort of up to us and you. you have to decide how much of the information you want to be sharing with other people. we need to make sure that it remains private. >> do the current heads of aol, yahoo! and facebook leave google because they saw no reward? >> well, in each case they became ceos of important and powerful companies. and that's tradition has been occupied by larry and myself. that position.
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so i think perhaps they wanted a career path for some of them to each of them is fantastic. and if you look, each of them sort of trained at google, independently strong, they will make a good showing. >> i wanted to ask you about -- i'm innocent -- one of the big challenges in the year ahead. for all these company's potentially. spend so why don't you ask your question? >> how are you preparing, planning, responding to that challenge? >> there's a couple comments about it. the laws differ in europe and in the u.s. the european process is a finding sort of at the eu level, and we've been under investigation for almost two years by the commissioner they are and his staff. and during this period, they get
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comments from everybody and we give them literally millions of documents. we have not come and we're busy negotiating with them. we don't think we violated any european laws, but we're happy to have a conversation and we're sort of now waiting on what they decide to do. we have been negotiating back and forth, and they announced that publicly. in the united states, the law is similar but different in the way it is applied to in our case the government decided to have the federal trade commission look at this and similar investigations are underway. there's a similar hearing. i testified at the hearings but again, i don't see the consumer arm under section two, and we've asked the government to come back and give us examples of things which are violation of law. we haven't seen that yet. we are also in negotiations with them. so i'll would say we talk to people a lot, sort of waiting on them at some level, and we're in sort of, hopefully, the ideal
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scenario would be that we come to a mutual agreement with all, with both of these. >> it gets me to thinking about that, you mentioned some of these initiatives are involved in. is there, how do you decide where to focus, what to focus on when you then look at planting for 2013? just such a huge range of things spin to use the wrong word to you don't plan. you sort of build the systems come to build a system that integrates. because innovation comes from an ugly. so if you had asked us five years ago would be in the car business. well, it's an interesting research idea. so it's taken this long to build the lasers and the other algorithms and so forth. so i think our decisions are largely based by how much soda progress we're making in this initiative, but we are lucky that people are caused by suggesting new ideas and new uses of the technology in which i think is one of the things --
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great things about google and one of the great things about high-tech. it's fun to working companies where people are constantly suggesting completely new approaches for the product. >> so it's a very nice question from the floor which sort of combined some of the smaller individual things that you're involved in with a bigger picture that you have been talking about. it talks about translation as a very fast-growing industry globally, given the translation is key to spreading democracy and capitalism. what role will the machine translation play in giving the middle, the middle class, solely middle-class? >> middle east problem, sort. >> when we started this, we had a scientist who invented a new technique which is called statistical machine translation. here's how it works. if you take english and chinese,
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english and russian, english and arabic and assert put a paragraph next to each other and one goes one way, one goes the other, that kind of stuff and you apply these algorithms, you can begin to learn and translate any text into any other text. and i'm not making this up. this is literally magic. mathematically what it is doing it is looking at patterns, it recognizes a pattern to pattern and that is how translation is done. that's translation by the way does not use a dictionary. that's why it's so interesting. it doesn't have any understanding of what it is translate at all. but the beauty of this whole machine translation, which will use, you can go from any language to any language. so in a very small amount of time will end up with a situation where we'll have 100 languages into 100 languages, all the content in the world to the question was how does it affect things in the middle east? it affects everything because a lot of conflict in the world
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especially wars, have been created because a lack of understanding. one of the comments was that there's a large body of arabic language work that's never been translated into anything. and almost none of that is on line. all of a sudden if we can put all of that stuff online, the notion of being a little bit of respect for each other will go a long way. >> another question coming up related. i am from africa, what is google enabling internet -- [inaudible]. spent the african situation as usual is worse than anywhere else. as a society, as a global society we've got to look at ourselves and say, how do we allow this terrible toll things to occur, certainly for decades? so what's the story of the internet in africa? the internet is the most expensive at any part of the world in africa, which is the poorest part of the world. how can this be? welcome any cases because of
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satellite. in many cases it's because of monopoly providers. there's no really good excuse for this, so what we've done is we've built what are called proxy caches to be put in each of the countries to speed up the internet. we've also done funding, competitive carriers, fiber to that. so the questioner asks what do we do about internet and wi-fi? so the problem is you've got your phone and a 3g connection, the connection that enables your phone to work. it's impossibly expensive. it turns out that more than half of the mobile traffic is not on the saudi providers, what we know as 3g and 4g, it is what you know as wi-fi come in sort of the routers that users use. so it's impossible to imagine free wi-fi for villages which are a common connection where people can use their phone. you can use them to call voice over ip which allows you to speak on the phone over the wi-fi networks and never have to
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deal with a cellular provider and the competition will continue. >> we're just about come to the end of our time i want to ask you one last question, which was came to mind when you're talking about the magical translation devices. the thing to be a magical journalism device that will make all of us at "the economist" redundant and it will reduce -- the google version of "the economist" where it makes -- >> what's interesting about technology is we do a pretty good job of catching up to the basics. we don't do a very good job of genius. so you take a look at google news, and many of you use google news, it does a pretty good job of assembling the obvious stuff but it doesn't have a lot of insight. so the role of journalism in my view is going to be the role of insight. and it's going to be a long time. is an example. we had a project inside google
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to write things. i suggested by the way you could write a paper and then you could have it at 7% and then you could add another 7%. so it would produce infinitely long papers. and what it did is it sort of looks mechanically at all this information and the symbols it. they did a pretty good job of that. but if you read it and joe have a good author, you can see the difference. that's i think where we are. it may be that 50 years from now systems will be so powerful that they can replicate the kind of special insight that journalists and reporters and people who are practitioners now, but it will be a long time before that is the case spent on that reassuring note, thank eric schmidt. thank you very much. >> thank you. [applause] >> student in video entries with your message to the president are now do. get them into c-span by this friday for your chance at the grand prize of $5000. there's $50,000 in total prizes.
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for more details go to stephen >> we are live this morning at johns hopkins university in baltimore for the start of a daylong discussion on policy options to reducing gun violence. this comes in the wake of last month school shooting in newtown, connecticut, and the day before vice president biden will deliver his own policy recommendations to president obama. this event is expected to focus on the 1993 brady handgun law and had to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. this is just about to get under way. live coverage here on c-span2. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> [inaudible conversations] >> ladies and gentlemen, we will start in approximately 10 minutes. [inaudible conversations]
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>> [inaudible conversations] >> [inaudible conversations]
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>> so as you heard it will be another 10 minutes or so before the start of this discussion on policy options for reducing gun violence. we will have a from the beginning when they get started you on c-span2. friday vice president biden held a meeting with sportsmen's and wildlife interest groups as a part of the white house gun violence task force, and in his remarks the vice president said the consensus is emerging over proposal for tightening background checks and banning high-capacity magazines to is currently leading a review of gun safety laws. he also met with the national rifle association and representatives from the
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entertainment industry. this is about 15 minutes. >> let me begin by thanking you all for being here. i know a lot of you have an awful lot. you've got to manage a lot. you have a lot on your plate. so thank you. secondly, i just want you to know what we've been doing and then maybe we can have a longer and larger conversation. as a consequence, what i think you would all agree, it was mentioned the shock of conscious of the american people unlike anything that i have seen or felt since we've been around a long time. all the time i've been in public life. there have been a number of tragedies that have occurred and national catastrophes, but i've
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never quite seen anything quite as shocking the conscience of the american people like six, seven year old kids being riddled by bullets in an area that was considered to be immune to this kind of behavior, and have done everything that seemed logically able to be done to protect the children in that school. and so the president asked me because i spent so much time on these issues relating particularly the guns and violence in my years in the senate. or whether or not we would admittedly it's quick, and a matter of less than a month, put together a set of proposals or direction that we could move the federal government which would
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enhance the possibility, lessen the possibility to this kind of thing could happen again. we know that it is, there is no silver bullet. as one of my friends, no seat belt we can put on to a sure that we will not be in this circumstance again. but i asked the cabinet to come together, attorneys general, homeland security, department of education, health and human service, et cetera because we know this is a complex problem. we know there's no single answer, and quite frankly we don't even know whether some of the things people think impact -- [inaudible]. and so i want you to know that you have not quote been singled out for help, but we've asked a whole lot of people. i wanted to be a sense of the meetings we've had so far.
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we met with law enforcement community. august the that's one perspective. and we met with, and there's a wide range of those. they don't always agree. and anything from weapons to preventative action. we met with the medical community. the american academy of family physicians, ama, the american academy of -- et cetera, more than a dozen meetings. we have met with at risk groups, at-risk youth and child advocacy communities from the obvious one everyone knows, the boys and girls club, the ymca, to the afterschool alliance. there's more than a dozen of those. domestic violence prevention community. they have various suggestions.
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legal and justice organizations, the aba to other legal and traditional organizations we've had as will the civil rights organizations, participation in national service organizations, the kiwanis club to the rotary club, and everything in between and beyond. youth groups, campus groups, peace groups, et cetera. gun safety advocates from the brady group to all of the major gun safety organizations. more than a dozen. the educators and parents who are groping for answers. the mental health community, including the american academy of child adolescent psychiatry to nih, through all those grou groups. not an extensive study, just
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literature that the staff has been working on governmentwide, much of which already had, some of which is new. and maybe the most interesting thing we had was with the interfaith group. for the first time and all the time i've been doing this, not only their traditional mainstream protestant churches and the catholic conference of bishops, but evangelical groups who are generally have been reluctant to engage in this because it's been viewed as maybe an impact on a cultural norms relating to world community and gun ownership and the like. but we've had all of these groups have shown up including leaders of the muslim community, the hindu community, et cetera. and it was really a fascinating discussion and fairly inviting.
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there's a moral dimension to this. and then we met with sportsmen and rural groups which are distinct from but not necessarily disagree with the gun owner groups from the nra and others, but they have a different perspective if they include association of fish and wildlife, bluewater strategies, outdoor association, et cetera. yesterday we met with gun owners ranging from groups from the defense of small arms advisory council headed by retired major general, firearms and export roundtable, the independent firearms owners, nra, et cetera. and is actually difference among them as well. it's not a uniform view. and we also met with retailers, because they are a part of this
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potential solution because of background checks and like, all the box stores and sporting goods operations who sell of awful lot of weapons. and we met with your colleagues in hollywood yesterday. the entertainment industry, but you are entertaining as well. but the entertaining industry, film and broadcasters. and we will be meeting with technology experts, because to overstate the case, but a lot could change if for example, every gun purchase could only be fired by a person who purchases a. because you literally would be unable -- that technology exists but is extending expensive. if that were available on every weapon sold, there's significant evidence that would, may very well curtailed what happened up in connecticut. because as a young man had access to his mother's arsenal,
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he may or may not have done it. and then we are meeting with outfits involved in social education, and you in the video gaming industry. and i come to this meeting with no judgment. you all know the judgments of the people have made, and i think we have a very productive meeting yesterday with the broadcast and the film industry. they had some very constructive ideas as to how they could help. and so we are looking for help. i understand a few of you here are researchers, and assessing the impact, if any on behavior of certain behaviors.
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so we are anxious to see if there's anything you can suggest to us that you think would help, as the president said, diminish the possibility of, if we only save one kids life as a consequence. you've also spoken, by the way, at length with, you know, we have a problem beyond quote the massacres, the columbines through the our rowers to connecticut. there's 10,000 people a year gunned down in our cities. different motives, different reasons. different explanations, but then, it's a real problem. it's serious. and one of the things that i know of no way to gather any real and critical bet on, and you will make, is make an analogy to when we first started
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dealing with the issue of crack cocaine. moynihan and i back in the early '80s -- coming from the bahamas actually. although i was senior, i was not equal to patrick moynihan. i never forget him standing up on the floor of the senate and holding up what was called and photostat a copy of a newspaper, front page of the newspapers from, i think 1937 or eight, where one of the mafia bosses was gunned down in a barber chair and riddled with the blood. he was just about decapitated with a machine gun, and it made the front page of every paper in america. then he held up, if i'm not mistaken, a "new york times," and he referenced a story and that happen, if i'm not mistaken, in the bronx where an
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entire family, grandmother, mother and father, three or four children, and in local were murdered execution style in their apartment. it made page 57 of "the new york times." he referred to it as defining deviancy down. and there's no major i'm aware of that would determine whether or not the coursing of our culture in a way that is not helping. i don't know the answer to that question. but, and i'm not sure what impact it would have on wouldn't have. but i wanted to tell you what we are about. the end result of this is, i am going to be making a recommendation out of the consequence of long drawnout hearings which are useful, but because there's an awful lot of research and material that's been laying around over the last 10 years in the various stages.
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these recommendations on the federal drug -- excuse me, federal drug trafficking statute the universal background checks, to making more widely available mental health assistance. and so, i'm going to be submitting to the president a proposal as to how to proceed on shooting for tuesday. i hope i get it done by them. we get it done by then, cabinet members. so i just wanted to fill you guys in on what it is. and with that, i'd like to disinvite my friends to the press. [laughter] [inaudible] spent i felt we had a very straightforward inductive meeting. [inaudible] >> vice president biden last week. is expected to make his recommendations to president obama on reducing gun violence tomorrow. and we are back live now to
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johns hopkins university in baltimore for a conference on limiting gun violence. this is expected to get started in just a moment. [inaudible conversations] >> ladies and gentlemen, we will be starting in about two minutes. two minutes into the start of the program. we want to remind folks to make sure your phones are on need. -- on mute. [inaudible conversations]
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>> [inaudible conversations] >> [inaudible conversations]
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>> [inaudible conversations] >> again, live pictures of johns hopkins university in baltimore for the start of a daylong discussion on policy options for reducing gun violence. this comes in the wake of last month's school shooting in utah in connecticut and also a day before vice president biden will make his own policy recommendations to president obama on reducing gun violence. live coverage here on c-span2. [inaudible conversations]
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>> [inaudible conversations]
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>> [inaudible conversations] >> [inaudible conversations] [applause]
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>> good morning. i'm ron daniel, president of johns hopkins university. before we begin today, i'd like to us for a moment of silence at our work over the next two days will focus on the wrenching and the pernicious effects of gun violence in america. violence that has ravaged hearts of many families, schools and workplaces, places of prayer, neighborhoods and communities that defined our landscape. so that i ask that we remember the victims, not only in places like newtown, aurora, oak creek, tucson and blacksburg, but victims in baltimore, detroit, new orleans and oakland him and countless other communities large and small across this country.
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[silence] >> thank you. on behalf of myself and mike, who is traveling overseas, i'm honored to welcome you today. this summit which was conceived scarcely three weeks ago in the wake of the harrowing event transpired in newtown, connecticut. daniel webster, of the johns hopkins center for gun policy and research, were determined for the debate over gun control which must follow from this event be informed by the best research and analysis from across our country, and, indeed, the world. and so for the last several weeks they have devoted virtually every waking moment, in fact there have not been many moments in which they have had a chance to sleep, to organizing this conference. so the two of them, and to colleagues and staff at bloomberg school and elsewhere in our university, who supported
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them, thank you for your extraordinary leadership. [applause] >> there is, of course a distinctive and noteworthy twist to this summit. namely, that the distinguished experts who have responded to daniels invitation are not merely participating as speakers, but as office. that is, each of our speakers has agreed to submit a chapter that elaborates on the remarks in a book to be edited by daniel and jan, and published by the johns hopkins university press in two weeks time. indeed i am told that you can pre-order the book, for i set $10. john corrected me and said no, it's $9.95 on, and no sales are moving briskly. this book will constitute a
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state-of-the-art sourcebook for policymakers, grappling with the policy options needed to respond effectively to gun violence. by the end of the month we are committed to seeing a copy of the book on the desks of each and every member of congress, and appropriate officials in the executive branch. that is no small feat. accordingly, i want to thank our speakers and the press or their herculean efforts and contributed to the summit, and for the books that follow. as you well know, we gather exactly one month to the our after the horrific, unfathomable massacre in newtown. the specter of that if it will weigh heavily on our discussion, and in all states currently raging in washington. but it is also important to know where we are gathering. in the past year alone there were more than 2700 gun related crimes in baltimore. sadly, this is a place where gun
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violence is not a surprising event, but importunate quarters of our city, a tragic and all too commonplace part of life. on his speaking anniversary, gathered in a city that must contain daily with the unforgiving toll of gun violence, the importance of this summit cannot be overstated. because our conversation over the next two days will take place against a backdrop of a bleak record of stunted policy reforms in this area, it is tempting to regard this summit as one more exercise in futility. essentially, the skeptics fear is a good idea for gun policy reform are no match for the interests that oppose gun control legislation. this is so even after an event as cataclysmic as newtown. yet today i urge a more
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optimistic view, that is predicated on the belief that we are not lavishly tethered to the current matrix of an adequate national gun law. despite a long history of failed legislative and policy reform of opportunities and explicitly squandered, and half measures adopted, progress is possible. my optimism stems from two sources. first is the fact that in other countries, other countries have adopted nontrivial policy changes in response to gun violence that have improved public safety without trenching undoing on personal liberties. it is true that jurisdictions like australia, britain, brazil have never had constitutional guarantees protecting individual rights to bear arms, but their political institutions are different than ours and a gun culture is an alien concept. but they are telling lessons
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that these countries have taken to address successfully the wanton loss of life from gun violence. we can and we must learn from the experience of others. the second source of my optimism lies in this country's history. in recent decades there is no denying the seachange in public sentiment that has undergirded public health policy reforms in areas as diverse as the seatbelt usage, drunk driving and public vaccination. big tobacco presented a seemingly impregnable barrier against regulation, until that happens. this is often the story behind monumental changes in u.s. policy. consider the civil rights act of 1954. it took lyndon johnson legislative genius to prod the senate forward, deepak resistance and over, what seem to be an unshakable logjam. in short, in our lifetime we
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observe nontrivial policy change to recognize that the impaired iron grip of status quo forces can be shattered, and policy can progress. in the next few weeks we can anticipate and hope that the debate over the effect of regulars of guns and the appropriate balance between individual rights and obligations will command sustained and serious attention from our political leadership. advocates will mobilize as lobbyists apply their cases, and politicians will fight over the issue. we know that. and in this mix, universities like ours can and will discharge a critical role in providing sensible scaffolding for this debate. here at johns hopkins, our scholars have been investigating the public effects of gun violence for well over two decades. for the past 17 years, the center for gun policy and
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research, by our colleague, steve, has provided a home for the study, producing nationally recognized research and recommendations in good at understanding and curtailing the impact of gun violence. by now, the research produced by the center and others we have accumulator a wealth of knowledge, and we hope much of it will come to the floor over the next two days. this summit has convened scholars and advocates from across the field and, indeed, across the world. we want to use this opportunity to cut through the end of the shrill and the incendiary, the rancorous and the baseless by identifying specific recommendation evidence, the evidence-based analysis shows will work and can be rendered congruent with principle and with our legal institution. of course any possibility of change depends on a complex of ideas, true political strategy, and inspired leadership.
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the gun policy debate, as so many other issues, there has been no more effective leader and the namesake of the school, johns hopkins graduate, new york mayor michael bloomberg. [applause] >> mayor bloomberg convened the first mayors summit on illegal guns in april 2006. following the event. event. vacated the mayors shared convention to crack down on illegal guns using quote every tool at their disposal. after all, this conclude, if congress won't take the lead, we have to. and so he has. in the nearly seven years since he has made the removal of such weapons from the streets of new york a primary focus.
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he has led the growth of mayors against illegal guns to include more than 800 municipal leaders of all political stripes, and nearly 1 million followers. and as a defender of the second amendment, his focus on the reasonable calibrator restrictions that will make the greatest difference for public safety. in fact, the mayor, standing alone, may comprise yet a third source for my optimism. in public health issue after issue from tobacco to obesity, he has exhibited courage, stamina, and focused determination when working to enact life-saving policy changes. his ideas are grounded in research and data, and his commitment is absolute. in short, i would not want to find myself on the opposite side of an issue in which he has invested his considerable intellectual and political skills. mayor bloomberg will speak in just a moment. at this point, however, i'd like to invite to the podium governor martin o'malley.
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[applause] >> wait a second. a former mayor of this great city, a longtime supporter of johns hopkins, and a national leader, driven efforts of a public safety. fighting crime in maryland has fallen by more than 24% since the governor was elected to office in 2006. under his leadership, state officials have participated actively and aggressively in task forces and in other partnerships with baltimore, and other municipalities. this state trade assessment tool to identify individuals taking into supervision with the greatest propensity to commit future violence crime, and launched collaboration to share relevant information with neighboring states, including virginia, d.c., delaware and pennsylvania. the governor has spoken out its efforts to prohibit assault weapons, and just this last week predicted that maryland's general assembly will ban such guns during the current legislative session.
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all you have to do is look at today's "washington post" to see the scope of his commitment. maryland session started last wednesday, so i know the governor has just a few things on his plate. his decision to join us here today is clearly a reflection of the deep commitment he has for this cause. governor o'malley, welcome back to johns hopkins university. [applause] >> thank you. my honor. mr. president, thank you very much, and thank you for the amazing work that goes on here at johns hopkins in so many realms, including here at the bloomberg school of public health. it's always a great honor to be here, especially to play warm-up act to mike bloomberg at johns hopkins. proud alumnus, very few of your sons i daresay, mr. president,
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have done quite so much for hopkins as mayor bloomberg s. he's been also a terrific friend to the city of baltimore, and we are here, we were here together just this past april. in fact, dedicate the children's center named in honor of his mother, which looks i think like one of the most handsome new buildings in baltimore, as i drive by. a great american once said that no nation whose citizens fear to walk their own streets is healthy. and it is a sickness in our country, and that sickness is gun violence. it's fitting, therefore, that we're here at the bloomberg school because gun violence is truly a public health issue. it's about the health of our city, our towns. it's about the health of our neighborhoods and our economy. it's about the health of our schools, and our school children, and our communities
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and the health of our neighbors. mayor bloomberg, the people of new york have seen is an effective, results oriented mayor, one of the most effective results oriented mayors ever to serve new york, or dare i say, any city. creating jobs, expanding opportunity, improving city schools, launching america's largest affordable housing initiative. quite honestly, everything they do in new york and said to be the largest initiative, but i should say also largest and one of the most innovative affordable housing initiatives. and also fighting crime. really showing us that the people of new york have shown the people of baltimore that it is possible to make a safer tomorrow, that we do not have to resign ourselves to the circumstances of the way things have always been, or what we have never been able to do in the past. and, in fact, we can save lives, and each life is precious. each life is important, and if
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you save just one life, it is as if you have saved the entire world. people of america also recognize something else that's very important in mike bloomberg, and that is that he is not primarily partisan. is primarily about pulling people together to do the practical things that actually works, which is also the definition of what it takes to be an effective mayor. there is the democratic or republican way to fix a pothole, is there? are in the democratic or republican way to make sure that the alleys are clean or that the trash gets picked up. you see a problem can't you bring people together, you fix it and then you see measurable results. and in this case the measurable results that we will see our lives that would be safe. this has been mayor bloomberg striving argument when it comes to preventing gun violence. politically speaking, this is certainly not an easy issue for many collected figures. the mayor courageously chose to
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step up again and again, bringing other like-minded mayors together, including our own courageous mayor, stephanie rawlings blake. and he did so consistently, and his leadership really matters now, because of the tragedies that have happened across our country, in colorado, in wisconsin, and most lately in connecticut. there is a wider envelope for accomplishing the art of the possible. for putting in place commonsense things, that can prevent this sort of gun violence that has taken us, too many lives from us. all of us are here today because we agree that this issue is of paramount public safety importance. and there is no more important responsibility that any government has than protecting, safeguarding the public safety of its citizens. over a ten-year period of time, two of the three major cities in america that achieved the
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biggest reduction in driving down violent crime, have been new york, and also just behind new york has been baltimore. .. >> mayor, you'll be pleased to hear that in maryland we are taking up this issue again in this year's legislative session, and i do believe that this year we will have success. later this week we'll be introducing a comprehensive legislative package that looks not only at weapons and the licensing of weapons and background checks, but also at
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schools. we're joined here by lillian lowery, our superintendent of our state's school system. we'll also be looking at health and mental health. we're joined by our commissioner of health and mental hygiene in the state of maryland, also joined by marcus brown, our superintendent of state police. so this will be a comprehensive legislative package to prevent gun violence. and it addresses not only the guns, but also mental health and school safety. briefly, it will ban military assault weapons that have no place on the streets of baltimore or on any other neighborhood in our state. and it will also limit the size of magazines in order to make it harder for criminals to gun down in succession police officers or school children. it will, secondly, have a common sense licensing requirement for handguns that respect the traditions of hunters and sportsmen. third, it will contain real,
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substantive reforms to improve mental health services. reforms like more timely data sharing, investments in better treatment and the creation of a new center for excellence on early intervention for serious mental illness. so that we're able to utilize more effective, early intervention strategies. and finally, it will invest in our schools to improve the safety of their facilities. so many of us have visited schools, and we know that with the primary mission being the educational mission that there is a wide spectrum when it comes to the safeguards in place on simple thingses like the doors -- things like the doors being locked and visitor being checked in and the like. so we will be creating a fund within our capital schools budget. we're one of only about a dozen states that invest in school
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construction. and that fund will help us to bring schools up to higher standards. we'll also be creating a maryland center for school safety that will bring together law enforcement with school officials so that we actually have some better advice for school officials on the things we can do to better safeguard the campuses of our schools. conclusion, conclusion, as i get to introduce our very honored and accomplished guest. neither mayor bloomberg, nor any of us in maryland are seeking to ban all guns. at the same time, we know that it makes absolutely no sense when you look at the level of carnage on our streets from guns to blame every factor but guns. if we're going to have a comprehensive approach, well, then let us be comprehensive, including comprehensively
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looking at the licensing requirements for guns. we need a comprehensive approach that puts the focus on the practical, common sense things that we can do together to save lives. there may not be, perhaps there is no way to completely prevent the next newtown tragedy. but then again, perhaps there is. fun of us can -- none of us can predict the future. none of us can properly assess the value of preventive programs that keep another tragedy from happening. and yet we know every life is valuable, and, therefore, that's why our inability to predict the future and the ability to fully pinpoint the value of preventive action cannot be an excuse to keep us from doing common sense
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things. that common sense tells us can work. so this is not about ideology. it is about human dignity, the dignity of every individual life, the dignity of every one of those little kids in connecticut, the dignity of every child and person in the united states of america. so it is with great honor that i introduce to you a man of effectiveness and a man of great political courage, mayor michael bloomberg of the great city of new york. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. governor, number one, thank you for rearranging your schedule to be here today. the governor, you should know, has always been a strong leader on gun violence. i remember meeting him this his office in baltimore before i was mayor when he was may or your of
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this great -- mayor of this great city, and he was focusing on tackling gun crime then and certainly as governor now, he is doing exactly the same thing for the people of maryland. maryland's one of those states that has an urban, suburban and rural part of it. it has all of the problems that we have across this country, public health, public safety, education, economics, and it also has something that is very valuable, it happens to have a great governor, and i've been a big fan of governor o'malley's for a long time. i just wanted to also thank you for your support for johns hopkins. it's a great asset for baltimore and for maryland, but it's a great asset for this country. and you and your other elected officials in annapolis deserve a great deal of credit for recognizing that and the support that you've given to hopkins for a long period of time. it's deeply appreciated, and i hope that we have paid it back. and that you are getting
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something for your money. it's great to be back at my alma mater, johns hopkins. president ron daniels called me a few weeks ago and said we're putting together the best minds in the world on gun violence to produce a conference and a book. and when you help keep it off -- kick it off. well, he didn't have to ask twice. the fact is that they were able to pull this conference together so quickly, i think, does show the dynamic and energetic equipment to scholarship and public service that i've always thought really defines the hopkins spirit. it is clear that we meet today at a critical can and, i think, a hopeful moment. just one month ago at roughly this time on december 14th a deranged young man pulled into the parking lot of the sandy hook elementary school in newtown, connecticut, and then shot his way into a building with a high capacity
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semiautomatic rifle, and the slaughter of six adults and 20 children really broke the heart of -- the country's heart. because for many americans this is the straw tahas broken the camel's back -- the straw that has broken the camel's back. since the massacre, you should know that more than a hundred mayors from across the country have joined our bipartisan coalition that we created called mayors against illegal guns. that brings our total number of mayors involved to more than 800. and as of this morning, roughly one million americans have also signed on to our coalition's i demand a plan campaign against gun violence. and this week, i hope as soon as tomorrow, vice president biden will announce his recommendations for action to the president. i've spoken with the vice president numerous times since the sandy hook massacre, and he knows that as horrific as sandy
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hook has been and all the other seemingly endless episodes of mass violence, we experience that level of carnage or worse every single day across our country. because every day of the year an average of 33 americans are murdered with guns. here's another way to think about what that means. one week from today president obama will take the oath of office for his second term. and unless we take action during those four years, some 48,000 americans will be killed with guns, nearly twice as many people as were killed in combat during the entire vietnam war. when i've talked with the vice president, i have made it very clear that our bipartisan coalition of mayors is supporting seven measures, three that need legislation and four that require only executive action. and we're hopeful the president and vice president will support
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all seven. and i just wanted to touch on each of them briefly. first and most you urgently, wed the president and congress together to require background checks for all gun sales including private sales at gun shows and online. these private sales now account for more than 40% of all gun sales nationally which means that in 2012 alone there were more than six million gun sales that happened with no background checks. many of those guns being sold are handguns which are used in about 90% of all firearms murders, firearms muraleds. and across the united states more than 80% of gun owners and more than 90% of americans support requires background checks for all gun sales. so there's really no debate here. of it's common sense. we have laws on the books that
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require a background check when dealers sell guns. it's time for the president and congress to make that the law of the land for all sales. 40% where the law does not apply to means the law is basically a sham. second, congress should make gun trafficking a federal crime. in new york city 85% of the weapons that we recover from crime scenes come from out-of-state sources. but federal laws designed to curb illegal sales across borders are incredibly weak. criminals who traffic get a slap on the wrist. now, we've made new york the safest big city in the nation in part by adopting tough gun laws and proactively enforcing them. every state in the union has citizens killed by guns coming from another state, and every state is powerless to stop the mayhem. until congress gets tough on
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trafficking, guns will continue flowing to our streets from states with much looser gun laws. the third legislative measure that the white house should support is limiting the availability of military-style weapons and high capacity magazines with more than ten rounds. these guns and equipment are not designed for sport or home defense. they are designed to kill large numbers of people quickly. that's the only purpose they have. they belong on the battlefield in the hands of our brave, professionally-trained soldiers, not on the streets of our cities, suburbs or rural areas. as retired military leaders like colin powell and stanley mcchrystal have said. many of the weapons in this category were previously banned under the federal assault weapons law that expired in 2004 and that was, incidentally,
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first initiated and passed by joe biden. so he's the right person for the president to have appointed to come up with what we should do next. regulating assault weapons certainly falls within the bounds of the second amendment, and so does everything else we're urging. this is not a constitutional question. it's a question of political courage. the supreme court, the one that defines what the constitution means and says, has ruled that reasonable regulations are consistent with the second amendment. so when the gun lobby raises the second amendment, it is nothing but a red herring. it's time for second amendment defenders in congress to call them on it. the three measures that i just mentioned require background checks for all gun sales, making gun trafficking a federal crime and limiting military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazines will require leadership from both the
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president and members of congress. but there are other steps that president obama can take without congressional approval. at any time he chooses with just the stroke of a pen. vice president biden understands this, and we hope his recommendations will include at least these four steps that we've urged him to do. first, the president can order all federal agencies to submit the relevant data that they have to the national gun background check database because every missing record is a potential murder in the making. if the data isn't in the database, those people that do use the database don't get what they need, and gun sales can go ahead in cases where we all agree and federal law says they shouldn't. second, the president can direct the justice department to make a priority of prosecuting convicted criminals who provide
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false personal information during gun purchase background checks. yes, even criminals go and buy dealers where they know there's going to be a background check, except that they lie. as a matter of fact, during 2010 there were more than 76,000 cases referred by the fbi to the justice department. do you know how many were prosecuted out of 76,000 in 2010, the last year we have data for? 44. not 44,000, 44 out of 76,000. this is a joke, and it's a sad joke, and it's a lethal joke. these are felony cases involving criminals trying the to buy guns -- trying to buy guns, and yet our federal government is prosecuting less than one-tenth of 1% of them. it is shameful, and it has to end, and the president can do it by just picking up the phone and
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saying to his justice department this is your job, go do it or i'll get somebody that will. the third, president can make a recess appointment to head the federal bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms. the atf, as it's called, habit had a director -- hasn't had a director for six years. can you imagine how much outrage there'd be if we'd been without a homeland security secretary for six years? this is as much a public safety threat as it would be if there weren't a secretary for homeland security. and if congress keeps blocking the atf appointees, all the president has to do is make a recess appointment. it is relatively easy, and it has been done many times to go around congress. you can't have an agency without somebody running it that's going to do the job that it was created for, and that job is to protect everyone in this room, everybody in this city, state and country including those that
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we love the most, our children, and those we have the greatest responsibility to, the police officers who run into danger when the rest of us are running the other way. think about it. finish -- if congress specifically said don't tell the public what's killing our kids and police officers who are trying to protect us, would you have a problem with that? of course you would. the president -- and this is our fourth recommendation -- can stop supporting what's called the tea heart orderly. tea heart was a congressman from wichita that got the congress to pass a law that keeps the public in the dark about who are the gun traffickers and how they operate. there can be no excuse from shielding criminals from public view. at the bidding of the gun lobby, congress can has tied the hands of the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms, and it's prevented it from releasing
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critical data to law enforcement authorities and the public. and unfortunately, the atf is not alone in getting gagged by congress when it comes to the issue of guns. today our bipartisan coalition of mayor withs against illegal guns -- mayors against illegal guns is releasing a report called access denied detailing how congress can, bowing to the gun lobby, has systematically denied the american people access to information about guns and gun violence. most egregiously and outrageously, congress has severely restricted the scientists at the centers for disease control and prevention from studying the epidemic of gun violence, and they've put similar restrictions on the scientists at the national institutes of health. congress has no business dictating what public health issues scientists can and should study. what are they afraid of? you're sitting here at johns hopkins. our motto is the truth shall make you free.
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when elected officials try to muzzle scientific research and bury the truth, they make our society less free. and less safe. today because of congressional restrictions cdc funding for firearms injury research totals $100,000 out of an annual budget of nearly $6 billion. the national institutes of health is estimated to spend less than $1 million on firearm injury research out of an annual budget of $31 billion. to put that in perspective, nih spends $21 million annually researching headaches, but it spends less than $1 million on all the gun deaths that happen every year, and if that doesn't give you a headache, it should. [laughter] there are 31,000 gun deaths every year in america, including
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about 9,000 suicides -- 19,000 suicides, and many of them are children. every parent's nightmare. in new york city, i'm happy to say -- i don't know that it should be happy, but i guess i'm pleased to say our suicide rate is less than half the national average. and one of the big differences is we have of in new york tough gun laws. and nationally 51% of suicides are by gun. in new york city it is only 16% of our suicides. now, the gun lobby callously says that someone who wants to kill him or herself will find a way to do it. in many cases they are tragically wrong. we can prevent thousands of these senseless suicides with smart gun regulations, and we're proving it in new york city.
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unfortunately, american scientists are not the only people that congress has attempted to silence. in 2010 -- again, at the gun lobby's bidding -- congress included language in a funding bill that prevented military officers and doctors as well as mental health counselors from even discussing firearms ownership with severely depressed service members. there is a suicide crisis going on right now, as you've read about, i'm sure, in our military. it's tough being overseas. it's tough seeing and doing what we ask our soldiers to do. we have an all-volunteer army. they come back, and many of them really do have a problem. congress instead of trying to help is just doing everything it can to make it worse. our men and women in uniform deserve better. thankfully, i will say that after mayors and retired
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military leaders urged congress to rescind this prohibition, they did. but only last month, and only after too many men and women in uniform have taken their own lives with guns. enough is enough. it's time for congress and the white house to put public health above special interest politics. and it's time for congress to stop gagging our scientists, military leaders and law enforcement officers and try to stop -- and stop trying to hide the truth from the american people. and that's why this conference and your work is so important. and i think it's very fitting that this conference is being held here at the bloomberg school of public health where so much outstanding and important work is being done in areas ranging from malaria research and environmental health to tobacco control and road safety. it's all designed to, as we say, protect health and save lives, millions at a time.
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reducing gun violence will have that kind of an impact too, so i want to thank the bloomberg school of public health, dean dr. michael clegg and daniel webster, director of the school's gun policy and research for hosting this conference. you know, a few years ago dr. webster or conducted a study of an initiative we undertook in new york city identifying the most problematic out-of-state gun dealers based on crime data, conducting undercover operations of their sales practices and suing those that sold guns to straw purchasers. straw purchasers are those who lie about who is the actual purchaser of the gun and stand in for somebody that could not pass a background check. 24 of the most problematic dealers settled or were put under a court monitor, and dr. webster found that in new york city the likelihood of recovering a gun at a crime scene from one of these dealers
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almost overnight dropped by 84%. 99% of the gun dealers in our country do obey the law. 1% don't, and those are the ones that we have to go after. and the results are dramatic and almost instantaneous. our investigation never would have happened without the data that allowed us to identify the problematic dealers. and yet if it were up to the nra, we would never have had access to it. and more guns would have flowed onto our streets. and in all likelihood, more people would have been murdered. the undercover investigations we conducted were just one example of how we worked to crack down on gun violence. at our urging in new york, our state legislature enacted the toughest penalties in the nation for illegal possession of a handgun, a three-and-a-half year mandatory minimum prison sentence. we've also worked with our city council to adopt a law enabling the nypd to keep tabs on gun
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offenders in our city just as they track sex offenders. we enforce those laws and other laws rigorously, and that's a big reason why new york is the safest big city in the country. in the year that just ended, new york city had the fewest murders in nearly half a century when comparable records started to be kept back in 1963. we've never had a year remotely as safe as the year we just had. as hard as we worked, however, and as much as we've achieved, the reality remains in new york that during 2012 there were still murders in new york city, and a lot of people killed were kids. while shooting incidents are down in new york city as well as murders, i can tell you that on the thursday night last i visited three nypd officers who'd been shot by criminals in two separate incidents. thankfully, the officers are all expected to fully recover.
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but i think that night really does demonstrate a flaw in the argument we've heard lately. the argument is the solution to bad guys with guns is good guys with guns. the problem is that sometimes the good guys get shot. sometimes, in fact, they get killed. and i think the hardest part of my job, the part that i dread the most as mayor is talking to the family of a police officer at a hospital to tell them that their husband, wife, mother, father, son or daughter won't ever be coming home again. the tragic fact is that across america today fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, friends and neighbors will experience that kind of pain and loss in their lives because of gun violence as well. the rate of firearms homicide in america is 20 times higher than
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it is in other economically-advanced nations. we have got to change that. and it has to start this week. with real leadership from the white house. so if you haven't done so, go to and join our campaign for gun safety reform. or call your senators and your congressmen from the great state of maryland and say, you know, we're not going to take this. and even if you vote the right way, your associates in congress respect voting the right way. and since i don't get a chance to influence them but you want my vote, you do something about it. it is your responsibility to do it as much as it is the responsibility of the other senators and the other congressmen. so thank you for coming to this conference. your work here really is in the great tradition of your host, the best public health school in the nation if you'd pardon me
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and permit me to say that. let us hope that it gets the attention that washington needs to pay it. this is one of the real big differences between what we have today and a safe, great future for our kids. thank you and god bless. [applause] [applause] >> thank you so much, mike. those remarks just reinforce the great sense of pride and
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affection we have in you as a son of this university. your remarks, as always, a clarion call to action; courageous, lucid, passionate. thank you so much for being here. governor, thank you so much for your remarks, and thank you for leading our tate and for the niche -- our state and for the initiative that you announced today, and we look forward to seeing it be quickly passed in annapolis. i want to let all of you know that the governor and the mayor have, of course, rearranged their schedules to be here and participate if the summit -- in the summit, and they now have to address other pressing commitments. so on behalf of all of us, we understand that you have to take leave of this conference, but we do thank you so much for your participation. [applause]
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>> with that, i would like to now turn the program over to daniel webster, director of the johns hopkins center for gun policy and research. earlier i offered and we'll have many opportunities over the next two days to offer appreciation for the extraordinary energy that he and jan have exerted to insure the success of this summit. we're in for a wonderful and very provocative program that, hopefully, will help contribute to the possibilities for meaningful political change in our country. daniel, can i call you to the podium to kick off the summit? [applause] >> thank you, president daniels, for your eloquent words and your leadership on this important problem. um, what i want to do here, i know we're getting behind schedule, but i just want to very briefly do a couple of
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things. first of all, i want to extend my enormous gratitude to all of my colleagues who have stepped up to the plate to come and write for this book and present at this meeting. john and i made -- jan and i made calls right around the holidays and said, um, could you please drop everything you're doing and help us on this important mission that we have to bring the best scholarship to this critical problem at this critical time. i didn't want get a single -- i didn't get a single no. and it really says something about their commitment to this problem and, also, just want to extend my gratitude also to the just fabulous staff of the school here who have made all of this possible. i want to now just very briefly just tell you what this is just so you know where we're going.
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um, we appreciate the great political leadership that we just heard now. the remaining program, this is an academic situation here. we are going to bring the evidence to this problem. and in some ways i can think about this sort of -- and maybe this makes me feel a little more calm -- as a seminar for our policy students of how you can approach a problem. you look at the evidence about the nature of the problem. what do we know about the effectiveness of different strategies to address that problem? what are the legal issues that we need to be mindful of as we develop our strategies? and then finally, what's the public support for those strategies? we're putting all of that together here in this summit that we think will really benefit the current discussion going on in washington and in state capitols all around our
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nation. so we are going to start the program now. i'd like to ask the presenters on our first panel to, please, take their seats. and i just want to say that there's information, um, on the web site about each of the bios of our speakers. um, i first thought i could say this is an all-star cast, but then i started thinking, well, many of these people aren't just all-stars, they're like hall of fame as far as researchers in gun violence. so we are going to start our first presentation with dr. matthew miller. because i can't go on and on, i'm going to say one sentence about each speaker or. [laughter] dr. miller is a preeminent expert who has published numerous articles that address the question he's going to address today which is what is the relationship between gun
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availability and violent deaths. so i'm going to turn it over to dr. miller. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> good morning. i'd like to start by thanking daniel and jan for organizing this tremendous conference and to susan for taking care of all the amazing logistics that made it possible. i'd also like to thank mayor bloomberg for his abiding commitment to this issue. this morning i'm going to talk about the relationship between firearm availability and lethal violence. i'll start by giving you a sense of how we in the united states compare to other high income countries and then look at the large disparities in lethal
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violence within the united states. as mayor bloomberg pointed out, most of the firearms suicides in this country are -- most of the firearms deaths in this country are firearm suicides. there are, in fact, almost twice as many firearm suicides as there are firearm homicides. in 2010, the last year for which we have data, there were 19,000 firearm suicides and about 11,000 firearm homicides. there are almost as many americans who die from gunfire as die from motor vehicle crashes, and for americans under 40 more die from gunfire than die from any specific disease. compared to other high income countries, the united states has a uniquely-huge, lethal firearm problem.
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it has been said that a country can be judged by how well it takes care of and looks after its most vulnerable members, its children. by that measure we don't look very good. this slide is meant to give you a sense of the difference if lethal violence -- in lethal violence in the united states compared to other countries in western europe, japan and elsewhere. for children 5-1 years of age -- 5-14 years of age, in the united states they are 13 times as likely to die from a firearm homicide, and they are almost eight times as likely to die from a firearm suicide and ten times as likely to die from a firearm accident. in this study the united states comprised about one out of three people, but almost nine out of ten children who died a firearm death lived in the united states. there is no evidence that our children are more careless, that
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they're more suicidal or that they're more violent. but they are dying by gunfire. why? i'm going to first talk about the relationship between homicide and firearms. the first thing to get out of the way from the start is that we are not a more violent nation than other high income nations. we are not a more violent society. we don't fight more in school, and we do not commit more violent crimes. it's a mistake to conflate lethal violence with overall violence. the next slide is meant to demonstrate that. if you look at the rates of violet crimes in the -- violent crimes in the united states and compare them to other industrialized high income countries, what you see is our rates of car theft, of burglary, of robbery, of sexual assault and of all violent crimes falls
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right in the middle. there are other studies that look at whether kids in the united states are more likely to get into serious fights at school. they're not. there are other studies that look at rates of mental illness in the united states and ask are we more, are we more mentally ill? do we have higher rates of suicidal behavior, mental illness, drug and alcohol problems? no, we don't. but what we do have is more guns in civilian hands. especially handguns. we have much more permissive gun control laws, and we have more homicides. here's another example of how we compare to other countries. if you look at the last column, you see that we have more guns than other industrialized countries. and this measure does not actually show you the great disparity in handguns which are the guns that are used as mayor bloomberg has said in most of the homicides. our firearm homicide rate, as
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you can see, is an order of magnitude higher than it is in these other countries. a rate of homicide with nongun mechanisms -- kniveses and bats, whatever -- is pretty much right where they are in the other high income countries. the net effect, the column on total homicide rates, is that our homicide rate is more than twice as high and sometimes four times as high as these other countries. we're not more violent, but when we're violent, we kill. with guns. this, um, is a slide that my colleagues, deb and kathy, helped me pull together from data that are not readily available. and what it's moment to show is this: -- what it's meant to show is this: where do the guns come from that are used when people die by gunfire in this country. and the big picture here is ha for kids -- that for kids, for
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older people and for women the guns that kill them are household guns. they die in the home, and to the best of our knowledge, the vast majority of these guns are legally owned. they're not trafficked. we don't have good data on that, but that's the general suggestion. now, for men who are 15-30 years of age and who are dying on the street, that's a different question. and so when you're thinking about the science, does the availability of guns in people's homes lead to an increase in the likelihood that they're going to die, you have to ask what are the guns that are killing these people, where do they come from? for children, for older people and for women they come from the home. for young men they're often occurring in the street. okay. so in looking at the totality of the literature that has been developed over the past 30
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years, individual-level studies and studies that look at areas, compare them to one another, ec logic studies, what we find is where there are more guns, there's more death. there's more homicide, there's more suicide, and there are more firearm accidents. these studies have taken pains to try to control for differences between homes with and without guns, states with and without -- states with more and states with fewer guns. and by taking these factors into account, they've tried to render apple-to-apple comparisons, like-to-like comparisons. and what i'm going to show you, um, is a collection of states that have high levels of gun ownership and a collection of states that have the lowest levels of gun ownership. it's meant to illustrate the magnitude of the difference in lethal violence in places where there are many and few guns. in the thinking about what i'm going to show you, remember that
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this is backed up by method logically rigorous studied that have controlled for all of these various factors at the state and local level as well as at the individual level. okay. so here's a demonstration. if you rank states from those with the highest level of gun ownership to those with the lowest level of gun ownership and then you collect those with the lowest level of gun ownership up to a point where you have 350 million people over an eight-year period and the same thing with the high gun states, so now you don't have to worry about rates because we have the same number of people in the high gun states as in the low gun states, let's see how we're faring. the high-gun states had a population -- 50% of the people who live in the high-gun states lived in homes with guns. one out of two homes in the high-gun states have guns. one out of six or so in the low-gun states. they did not differ in their rates of mental illness, they did not differ in their rates of
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suicidal ideation, they did not differ markedly in their rates of violent crime. now let's look at lethal, the lethal consequences of living there. okay. homicide. for women in the high-gun states over that eight-year period there were over 3,000 women who were killed with guns. there were about a thousand who were killed with guns in the low-gun states. the number of women who were killed with methods other than guns was not drastically different. the net effect was that there were 6,000 women in the high-gun states who were murdered compared to about 3,000 women in the low-gun states, a difference of 3,000 lives. a ratio of two. you can look at the children, and you can look at older people, and what you see is the same basic story. now, what about for men who are 15-29? remember, they're not dying in the home. they're dying more often away
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from home. and here the evidence is not as striking. but it's still there. there are more men who are dying in the high gun states by gunfire, 7,000 compared to 5,000. not that big a difference for the nongun homicide rate, and a difference of almost 2,000 lives even among this group of men who are dying more often in the street than in their homes. what about suicide? as i said, almost two out of three firearm deaths in this country are suicides, and these are all, by and large, taking place in the home. with guns that have been there for a long time. the case control studies done by several of the people here in the audience have controlled for various measures of psychopathology; depression, alcohol, drug abuse, suicidal
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behavior in general. and what these studies find is that people who live in homes with guns are not more suicidal, they don't have higher rates of mental illness. what they do have is higher rates of dying by suicide. and the reason the rates are higher is because they're dying, more likely, from firearms suicide. they are not dying at higher rates from non-firearm suicide. the risk of a gun is not only associated with the person who bought the gun, it's a reasonable critique of the literature. if i bought a gun, maybe i bought it because i was suicidal, and you're going to find more guns when you do a study. but my kid didn't buy the gun, and my wife didn't buy the gun can. and the relative risk for them is also high. in fact, it's each higher for adolescents than it is for the gun owner. and there's a hierarchy of risk. just as the more cigarettes you smoke the more likely you are to die from lung cancer, the more unsafely you store your guns, the more likely your kid is going to commit suicide with that gun. all right.
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here's, here's a slide that i put together along with my colleagues deb and kathy and david hemingway. and what this is supposed to show you is how you can actually dissociate rates of mental illness from rates of completed suicide. what this graph shows you is that it graphs the states from left to right in increasing, increasing order of the rate of suicide, death by suicide. what you see when you look at serious psychological distress, and you can substitute suicidal attempts or ideation in there, is that there's no correlation between how often people are thinking about killing themselves, no carelation for how often they say they have depression with the rate at which they're dying. people are no more mentally ill in one state compared to another, by and large. if you plotted a line of gun
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ownership on top of this graph, what you would see is it tracked, it would track very nicely with the line showing you an increasing risk of -- increasing rate of suicide. okay. this renders in two dimensions what the method logically rigorous studies have shown in general. the ax cease are kind of tiny. i don't know if you can read them, but i think that you would agree that there's one of these things that doesn't belong with the other. right? there are two that go together and one that doesn't. the two that go together are the pink dots and the blue dots. they both show a line, a slope increasing from the bottom to the top whereas the green dots look like they're scattered randomly. what the pink dots show is the relationship between household gun ownership in a state and the rate of firearm suicide. what the green dots show is the
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relationship between non-gun suicide and household gun ownership. there is none. the net effect is the blue dots. as you increase your -- if you live in areas where there are more guns, more people are dying by suicide. okay. it's sort of intuitive to people when we're talking about homicide that if someone shoots you, you're more likely to to de than if they try to knife you to death. but people don't think about suicide always in the same way. the similarities are actually quite striking. firearms are the most lethal method people use of all the methods that are commonly used. many suicidal actses, like homicidal acts, are imprinciplessive. cry cease -- impulsive. crises are temporary, and importantly, very few people who survive an attempt to go on to die by suicide thereafter. very few people go on to die
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thereafter. what this means is if you can save a life in the short run, you save a life in the long run. otherwise we would not see these strong relationships between gun ownership and the overall rates of suicide. nor for homicide. okay. here's a measure of the -- [inaudible] of what we're talking about. if you look at women in the high gun states, there are over 4,000 who died by suicide. there were about 500 in the low-gun states. their rates of of non-firearm suicide basically the same. the net effect, 8781 women in the high-gun states died over this eight-year period compared to 5138. 3,000 women. you can look at the numbers for men, and we're talking about almost, you know, 18,000 more men. you can talk about the men wore killing one another, the age group killing one another, and you see the same thing that you do for women. these men are using guns in their home, and they're dying by
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suicide at twice the rate when they live in a high-gun state. okay. so the united states with our many guns in civilian hands -- especially handguns -- and with our very permissive gun control laws has a far more serious lethal violence problem than other comparable developed countries. in the united states where guns are more available, more people are dying. they're dying by suicide, they're dying by homicide, and they're dying by firearm accidents. the consistency of the finding across different types of of studies by different researchers at different times looking at different populations is remarkable. there is no credible evidence otherwise. now, firearm policy is often focused on guns used in crimes. that makes sense when you're trying to prevent lethal
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homicides that are related to crime. and it's an important focus. but we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that what's most notable about the studies that i've reviewed here and about the strong literature in general is that, is the story they tell more generally about guns, most of which are household guns. the stock of guns we have, the 300 million distributed across one out of every three homes, the stock of guns matters, and so does the flow. all right. i've spent the last 18 minutes or thereabouts telling you about the relationship between firearms and lethal death in this country. what i haven't told you is how difficult it has been to conduct this science especially over the past 15 years since the cdc has effectively choked off funding. few private foundations have stood up in the breach with the
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notable exceptions of the joyce foundation and the burnett foundation to name just two. mayor bloomberg gave you a good idea of just ouch we're up against, and so -- just how much we're up against. what i will say is having studied the relationship between firearm violence, firearms and lethal violence for the past 20 years, i still think that we can make a difference. and moreover, we're obliged to act on what we already know, some of which i've talked about this morning. and in thinking about what we should do, i think it's fitting to acknowledge as mayor bloomberg mentioned that one month ago -- almost to the minute, in fact -- 20 little children and 6 of their teachers were slaughtered in newtown, connecticut. it would be a disservice to those people who died, i think, be in this forum -- if in this forum which is inspired by their memory and committed to reducing
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the rate of firearm violence in the future, if we didn't take pains to note what is both exemplary about that sad day and what is extraordinary, what is typical and what is atypical. what is typical is that a gun from the home was used in a suicide, and a gun from the home was used to kill a family member. and it's much more likely that those events occurred than the gun is used to kill an intruder or injury an intruder. what is atypical about that devastating day is that so many little children and women were killed all at once so quickly with a high capacity assault rifle. of the 85 other people who died by gunfire that day in all likelihood, more than 50 were suicides. and of the 30-plus who died by homicide, most were killed with
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handguns, most died one by one. and most outrageously in terms of statistics, a hugely-disproportionate number were young men of color in the inner city. i point to both the exemplary and the extraordinary because the first step in crafting a solution to a public health problem is to identify what that problem is. and that problem is this: year after year more americans are dying by gunfire in this country tan are dying -- than are dying in comparable countries across the world. our nation has not done well by our most vulnerable and our littlest in this regard. we have a uniquely american
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problem. it's a huge public health problem. we've come together to do something about it today. i pray that we can achieve some measure of durable success. thank you very much. [applause] >> um, our next talk is by professor phillip cooke. phil cooke is a professor of economics and public policy at duke university. and, unfortunately, professor cooke could not join us today, but we have him ready as a video link. to i'm going to turn to -- so i'm going to turn to our gentleman here who knows how to
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make this happen. >> greetings to all of my friends and colleagues in firearms research. i'm very sorry i can't be with you in person, and i hope that this format is not too tedious. i wanted to go ahead and discuss the paper that i'm contributing to the volume co-authored with jens ludwig that is a review of the old evaluation that we did of the brady act. we published that in 2000 in jama, and at the time it was a controversial paper. i think it's directly relevant to many of the discussions that are going on now about possible new legislation that congress could enact especially having to do with universal background checks. so what i'd like to do then is
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to talk about the results of that evaluation and about the interpretation that jens and i would give to it today and then go on and talk a bit about the possibility of universal background checks. so to get started, the general topic is selective prohibition with respect to firearms possession. the gun control act of 1968 divided the adult population of the u.s. into two groups. there was the group who were disqualified because they had a felony conviction or because they were illegal immigrants or they were adjudicated as mentally ill or had some other one of the ten characteristics that's listed in that act. and then there's the qualified population which is everybody
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else, the vast majority of americans that have the right to possess guns at least by federal law. this distinction was and has been enforced through two mechanisms. one is through the deterrence mechanism and most commonly through felon in the-possession laws -- in the-possession laws where the police if they pick somebody up who used a gun in a crime, for example, and it turns out that they have, um, a felony conviction on their record or some other disqualifying condition, then can receive an extra sentence in that connection. and the other mechanism for enforcement is trying to restrict access through the regulation of federally-licensed gun dealers. the regulation of transfers was also instituted in 1968 through the gun control act and remained
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in place right true -- right through 1994. it required that anyone who wished to buy a firearm through a federally-licensed dealer had to sign a document called form 4473 which indicated that they did not, in fact, have any of the disqualifying conditions. and that was, that was sufficient then to authorize the dealer to transfer the gun to the buyer by federal law. the, of course, obvious end around was what was known as lie and buy, and certainly that happened at the time. so the brady handgun violence prevention act, which was implemented in 1994, then strengthened the enforcement
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effort through, or the regulatory effort, by requiring not only that the buyer sign the form, but also that the dealer conduct a background check to make sure that they were telling the truth. let me just say a few words about the timeline for the brady act. in the march 1981 -- in march 1981 james brady, who was serving as president reagan's press secretary, was shot in the head at the same time that president reagan was shot by john hinckley. and brady and his wife sara then became leaders in the gun control movement and through happened gun control -- handgun control inc. became advocates for a particular package of legislation. after seven years of effort, it was finally enacted by congress in 1993 and bears brady's name. the interim set of provisions
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went into effect in february of 1994, and then almost five years later there was a permanent set of conditions or provisions that went into effect. it was permanent starting at the end of 1998 that includes the instant background check system that we're all familiar with. the notable provisions in detail of the brady act can be briefly summarized. the interim provisions only affected handgun purchases. they did not cover rifle or shotgun. shotgun purchases. and further more, they were restricted to transfers by federally-licensed dealers. turned out that only 32 states were directly affected. the other 18 states and the district of columbia already had
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background check requirement which was satisfactory given the terms of the federal law. what we had during this initial interim period starting in this 1994 -- in 1994 was then the requirement that dealers contact local law enforcement officials and wait five business days to get a response to see whether or not the buyer was qualified or disqualified. along the way in 1997 the supreme court actually ruled on one provision of that brady act. it was known as the prince decision, and it's of interest now partly because, of course, very recently we've had a couple of important decisions based on second amendment grounds. but the prince decision was based on the tenth amendment, states' rights provision, and what it said was, in fact, the federal requirement that
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insisted that local law enforcement officers or state law enforcement officers conduct a background check, that that was overreaching, that the congress could not do that, and, um, so that that threw out that part of the federal requirement. but as it turned out, it made hardly any difference because all the -- two of the states decided to go ahead with the background checks after that. the permanent provisions of the brady act came into effect in december of 1998. that expanded the background check to all types of transfers including shotguns and rifles and replaced the five-day waiting period now with an instant background check which required the dealer to make a phone call and often would get a response from the fbi or from the state official that was relevant within a few minutes. if there was any question, the default was to go ahead and
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transfer the gun within three days. so that brings us to the story of the evaluation that jens and i did. the motivation for doing the evaluation was, first of all, that the brady act was the most important piece of gun control legislation since 1968, is since the gun control act. it was, certainly, limited in certain respects. it was the biggest stride forward in that respect that we had seen in all those years. and there were strong claims, there were high hopes for its effectiveness in saving lives, reducing gun violence. furthermore, it appeared that because of the way the interim period was structured that it was possible, it was logically possible to conduct a strong evaluation, a strong causal evaluation of the effect of the
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law. and we were or fortunate enough to receive funding from the joyce foundation and went ahead and did it. the design of our evaluation is a quasiexperimental design. the fact that there were 18 states that were not directly affected by the law looked to us like those states were a control group, that the other 32 states were, in effect, the experimental group for the effects of this law and that by comparison, comparing the trajectories of gun violence for those two groups of states, we could hope then to tease out the causal effect of the law on gun violence. the likely causal mechanisms that we thought were working in the background are pretty obvious. in this case, that the
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background check should prevent at least some felons from buying handguns from dealers and, thus, reduce the chance that they would be armed in a violented encounter. if they went ahead and robbed somebody or assaulted somebody and did not use a gun, then the chance that the victim would die would be greatly reduced because knives and clubs are simply less lethal than handguns. furthermore, the waiting period that was part of the interim measure in the brady act provided a cooling-off period and that we thought that would make a difference for those with a specific intent to assault somebody. and it should be noted and i'll return to this that the contrast between the so-called control states and the treatment states only works, this experiment only works if it's reasonable to
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assume that the control states were not affected by the brady act, and i'll talk more about that in a minute. the outcome measures that we used were the, from the vital statistics. we looked at both the homicide rates broken down by gun and non-gun and then also looked at suicide rates. we chose to focus on the older perpetrators and older victims simply because as a logical matter the braidty act would have had little -- b brady act would have had little effect on those under 21. the handgun sales by dealers were already prohibited to anybody under 21 and that that was already subject to a sort of a check which is that the dealer had to look at the identification provided by the buyer. so what we expected is it was for adults over 21 who would be
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affected, that turned out to be important in the evaluation for other reasons as well. this all happened during a very volatile period in youth violence and by focusing on older victims, um, we were able to pretty much exempt our evaluation from that volatility and look at the more stable rates for older victims. the other thing to be said about the outcome measure is that we've thought that suicide in this case was every bit as interesting as homicide, and we included that in the evaluation. so if you look at the first figure, and this one is limited to victims who are age 25 and older, what you see is that the rather remarkable fact that the average homicide rate in the control states was virtually identical to the average homicide in the treatment states
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until, up until the implementation of the brady act. and that's true pretty much every year for the eight or nine years before 1994. and that establishes this comparison of treatment to control as being valid. that, in fact, these two groups of states are very similar prior to the act, and they're following -- they're being influenced by the same other factors along whether they're demographic or economic or whatever, the two of them are very similar. so what we're expecting to find then if brady is effective is that following the implementation we will see the homicide rate in the treatment states go down relative to the homicide rate in the control states, but we did not see that. if you, again, look at figure 1, you will see that the two rates
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remain very similar following the act and, if anything, the average rates in the control states go down by more than in the treatment states, the difference being very small. and in figure two you can see the same kind of comparison now just for gun homicide rates where the effect, if any, should be concentrated, and we get exactly the same pattern. very similar rates prior to brady. afterwards continues to be similar, but if anything, the control states do a little better than the treatment states. just the opposite of what we might expect. figure three and figure four produced the same results now forked ises involving victims 25 and over, and you can look at those. in that case there is some gap in the averages, but they certainly follow the same trend, and they follow the same trend before and after the implementation of the brady act
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with the result that it does not appear that there was any particular effect of the act itself. beyond looking at this kind of graphical evidence, we also did a regression analysis, what is known in many economics at least as a dith analysis using the panel of states over the period 1998 to 1997, and just what has become a very standard application of causal evaluation analysis. and what we ended up doing was controlling for a few other factors, co-variants, but focusing on the implementation of the brady act to see whether it made any difference in those states where it had a direct effect. our findings were just what you would expect from looking at the graphs, that for homicide we
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found no discernible direct effect. for suicide we found no discernible direct effect. that, both of those conclusions is subject to the qualification that this is a confidence interval around that estimate of a null effect. and, for example, for homicide the 95% interval would amount to the range reduction in 13% all the way up to an increase of 8% in the overall homicide rate. so that gives you some idea of the uncertainty but accompanied by the basic finding that we endorse the null hypothesis. the first question that might come up if looking at these results -- in looking at these results, people scratch their head and say, you know, but
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after all, during that interim period there were over 300,000 people who were denied the purchase of a handgun. that is over 300,000 times during that five-year interim period somebody went to a dealer, attempted to buy a handgun and was refused on the grounds that they had a felony record or had some other disqualifying condition. that amounted to 2.4% of all of the attempted purchases. and 300,000 sounds like a big number. we might expect that it would show up in the homicide rate or in the suicide rate, and so what's going on here. but we did some calculations based on evidence from california that seemed pretty directly relevant which suggested that, in fact, those 300,000 denials might amount to only about several dozen
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homicides at best. and that would be true even if they were not replaced with other sources of guns along the way. so that's not enough to produce a discernible effect in the homicide rate as it turns out. i would say at the time the most important criticism of our study was that we had ignored the possibility that the control states, in fact, were being affected by the brady act. not directly, but indirectly through changes in underground trafficking patterns. prior to the brady act, it was very common for crime guns in states like illinois or california, massachusetts to
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come from states with very little regulation, maybe in the deep south along the way. and now that there's a federal requirement that establishes regulation in all of the states, then we would expect to see changes in the trafficking patterns because it became more difficult for gun runners to source the guns in those unregularringlated states -- unregulated states. we did a case study for chicago later and found that that was exactly true. ..
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on the other hand in chicago when we took a look we could not see any affect on the use of guns and homicide. so big changes in the underground market, but very little changed in access by the violent people that were accounted for the homicide rate. and as a result, we are skeptical of the idea that it really, that change in trafficking patterns made much difference in terms of guns. if we sit back and say supposed we were basically right, and that, in fact, the brady act was ineffective, why might that be? and very quickly we can be
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reminded of the limitations of that act that were evident at the time for even more evident now. the greatest limitation, as it turns out, most criminals did not obtain the comes from licensed dealers. they obtain their gun from the secondary market, the informal undocumented market. much of which by the way is illegal, but which is entirely unregulated by the brady act. even before that act when the background check went into effect, there was one study that said over 80% of criminals obtain their guns from some sort other than the licensed dealer. so that's the greatest loophole. the second one is that it turns out that a majority of murderers, or at least people arrested for murder are probably
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not disqualify but at least they don't have a felony conviction. we did a study again in chicago which said 60% of those arrested for murder in chicago did not have a felony conviction on the record. so in the so in effect that's another loophole in the law that the disqualifying conditions do not cast the wet -- a net wide enough to pick up the majority of violent criminals. the third loophole is, true especially in the 1990s, that the background checks were only as good as the quality of the records that they were accessi accessing. and those records were securely deficient in the 1990s. there's been federal programs, revenue support since then to help the states upgrade their systems and improve the data available for the background checks. so presumably today it's more complete than it was in the
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1990s. but then it was another important loophole. all right, so lots of reasons, or at least three, to understand why the brady act might've been ineffective. at the same time acknowledging the fact that our study had some limits of its own. so finally let me try to provide a verdict, generally, on selected prohibition, again reflecting on the study that jan and i did. the first thing, just remind everyone that our estimates of the effect of the brady act are not precise. our no result leaves open the possibility that, in fact, it did save lives and that it stayed in the lives to pass a cost-benefit test. after all, everyone% reduction
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in gun deaths is 300 lives saved, and by current standards that would justify a billion dollar program, or more. so 1% reduction is not anything that our evaluation method couldn't detect. and so we are left unsure about this possibility that, in fact, it was a small effect, but an effect that was large enough given the very high stakes, lives saved, to make it worthwhile. and finally let me just say that the universal background check may, if it weren't instituted, produce much larger effects than brady act ever could. simply because it would close the privacy a loophole, and with the universe requirement could be effectively enforced, then it would greatly add to the
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efficacy of that law. and i suspect that the additional cost would be relatively trivial. so that's my observations on that, old evaluation, and looking forward a bit, i think one way to summarize it is that we don't have enough evidence from our experience with the brady act to make a clear judgment about the benefits, possibly going forward, or expanding the selected prohibition approach. >> okay. so -- [applause] >> many of the vulnerabilities that professor cook identified, we are going to be addressing in our subsequent presentations. we are going to alter our
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schedule slightly and take our 10 minute break now. so i would appreciate it if everyone could be back here within 10 minutes. that would be 11:16, and we will get going. thank you. [inaudible conversations] >> [inaudible conversations]
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>> so as you heard, about a 10 minute break in this daylong discussion on reducing gun violence. we will be back at about 11:17 or so to continue. while we wait for this discussion to continue we will go back to earlier today to. opening remarks from martin o'malley who is the governor of maryland, and new york mayor michael bloomberg. [applause] >> thank you. my honor. >> mr. president, thank you very much. thank you for the amazing work that goes on here at johns hopkins in some new realms, including here at the bloomberg school of public health. it's always a great honor to be here, especially to play warm-up act to mike bloomberg at johns hopkins. proud alumnus, very few of your
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sons, i dare six so, mr. president, he's also been a terrific friend to the city of baltimore. and we are -- we're here together just this past april, in fact, to dedicate the bloomberg children center named in honor of his mother, which looks i think like one of the most handsome new buildings in baltimore, as i drive by. look, a great american once said that no nation whose citizens fear to walk their own streets is healthy. and there is a sickness in our country, and that sickness is gun violence. it's fitting, therefore, that we're here at the bloomberg school because gun violence is truly a public health issue. it's about health of our cities and towns, about the health of our neighborhoods and our economy. it's about the health of our schools and our school children
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and our communities, and the health of our neighbors. mayor bloomberg, the people of new york have seen is an effective, results oriented mayor, one of the most effective results oriented mayors ever to serve new york, or dare i say, any city. creating jobs come expanding opportunity, improving city schools, launching america's largest affordable housing initiative. well, quite honestly everything they do in new york can be said to be the largest. but i should say also largest in one of the most innovative affordable housing initiatives. and also fighting crime. really showing us, the people of new york have shown the people of baltimore that it is possible to make a safer tomorrow, that we do not have to resign ourselves to the circumstances of the way things always have been, are what we have never been able to do in the past. and, in fact, we can save lives,
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and each life is precious. each life is important to eddie to save just one life, it is as if you see the entire world. people of america also recognize something else of theirs are important in mike bloomberg, and that is that he is not primarily partisan. is primarily about pulling people together to do the practical thing that actually works. which is also the definition of what it takes to be an effective mayor. it is the democratic or republican way to fix a pothole, is there? or any democratic or republican way to make sure that the alleys are clean or that the trash gets picked a. you see a problem can't you bring people together, you fix it and then you see measurable results. and in this case the measurable results you will see our lives that would be saved. this has been mayor bloomberg's driving argument when it comes to preventing gun violence. politically speaking, this is certainly not an easy issue for many elected figures.
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the mayor courageously chose to step up again and again, bringing other like-minded mayors together, including our own courageous mayor stephanie rawlings blake eric and he did so consistently, and his leadership really matters now. because with the tragedy that has happened across our country in colorado, in wisconsin, and most lately in connecticut, there is a wider envelope for accomplishing the art of the possible, for putting in place commonsense things, that can prevent this sort of gun violence that has taken too many lives from us. all of us are here today because we agree that this issue is of paramount public safety importance, and there is no more important responsibility that any government has been protecting and safeguarding the public safety of its citizens. over a ten-year period of time,
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two of the three major cities in america that achieved the biggest reductions in driving down violent crime have been new york and also just behind new york, has been baltimore. i believe new york was number two over a ten-year period. baltimore was number three. so preventing violent crime, locking up the bad guys, keeping assault weapons from falling into the hands of disturbed people who are a danger to others, these are not barometric pressures. these are not whether forces. these are not conditions brought about by the gulf stream. these are human problems, and so, too, are there solutions. mayor, you'll be pleased to hear that in maryland we are taking up this issue again in this year's legislative session. and i do believe that this year we will have success. later this week we'll be introducing a comprehensive legislative package that looks
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not only at weapons and the licensing of weapons, background checks, but also in schools. we're joined here by our superintendent of state school system. will also be looking at health, mental health. we are joined by josh, are commissioner of health and mental hygiene and as to the middle. also joined by marcus brown, our superintendent of state police. so this will be a comprehensive legislation package to prevent gun violence. and it addresses not only the guns but also mental health and school safety. briefly, it will ban military assault weapons that have no place on the streets of baltimore, or on any other neighborhood in our state. and it will also limit the size of magazines in order to make it harder for criminals to gun down in succession police officers or schoolchildren. it will secondly have a commonsense licensing requirement.
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for handguns that respect the tradition of hunters and sportsmen, third, it will contain real substantive reforms to improve mental-health services, reforms like more timely data sharing, investments in better treatment, and the creation of a new center for excellence on early intervention for serious mental illness. so that we're able to utilize more effective early intervention strategies. and, finally, it will invest in our schools to improve the safety of their facilities to so many of us have visited schools, and we know that with the primary missions being the educational mission, that there is a wide spectrum, one that comes to the safeguards in place on simple things like the doors being locked, and visitors being checked in and the like. so we will be creating a fund
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within our capital schools budget. we are one of only about a dozen states that invest in school construction. and that fund will help us bring schools up to higher standards. we'll also be creating a maryland center for school safety that will bring together law enforcement with school officials so that we actually have some better advice for school officials on the things we can do to understate guard the campuses of our schools. conclusion, conclusion, as i get to introduce are very honored and accomplished just your neither mayor bloomberg nor any of us in maryland are seeking to ban all guns. at the same time we know that it makes absolutely no sense, when you look at the level of carnage on our streets from guns, to blame every factor but guns. if we're going to have a
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comprehensive approach, well then, let us be comprehensive, including comprehensively looking at the licensing requirements for guns. we need a comprehensive approach that puts the focus on the practical commonsense things that we can do together, to save lives. there may not be, perhaps there is no way to completely prevent the next new town tragedy, but then again, perhaps various. none of us can predict the future. none of us can properly assess the value of preventive programs that keep another tragedy from happening. and yet we know every life is valuableand, therefore, that's what our inability to predict the future and the ability to
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fully pin point the value of preventative action cannot be an excuse to keep us from doing commonsense things. common sense tells us can work. so this is not about ideology. it is about human beings. the dignity of every individual life to the dignity of every one of those little kids in connecticut. the dignity of every child and every person in the united states of america. so it is with great honor got introduced to you, a man of effectiveness and a man of great political courage, mayor michael bloomberg of the great city of new york. [applause] >> thank you. governor, number one, thank you for rearranging your scheduled to be here today. the governor, you should know, has always been a strong leader on gun violence but i remember
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meeting him in his office in baltimore before i was mayor when he was mayor of this great city, and he was okasan on tackling gun crime then come and certainly as governor now, he is doing exactly the same thing for the people of maryland. maryland is one of those states that has an urban suburban and rural part of it. it has all of the problem that we have across this country, public health, public safety, education, economics. and it also has something that is very valuable. it happens have a great governor, and i've been a big fan of governor him out for a long time, and i think, i just wanted to also thank you for your support for johns hopkins. it's a great asset -- >> michael bloomberg, and before that maryland governor martin o'malley with opening remarks at the state long some of reducing gun violence. from earlier today. back live now to more daylong coverage. >> so, as you see in your program, the first set of papers
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are focused on a very general goal of keeping guns from dangerous people. professor cook identified not only the brady law has not been effective in addressing at least the province of homicide and suicide, but identified several reasons for that. and so i think it's our job now in terms of informing future policy to really address what are those vulnerabilities, what do we know about what happens when you address those? so that's really what many of the remaining papers will be on. so, our next presenter is gene rowntree. she is the chief operating officer for mayors against illegal guns that we have heard so much about and it's been such an amazing force in terms of advancing evidence-based gun policies.
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she will talk to us about critical issues with respect to the records for instant background check. >> thanks, daniel. i've been working for mayor bloomberg for about four years now, and most of the staff on mayors against illegal guns -- we have about 25 staff in new york, 10 in d.c. and about 10 around the country. and i will say that work in a public safety issue for the mayor i've noticed the trend that where violent crime tends to increase during the warmer months in the summer, and tends to decline when it's cold in the winter. and based on the temperature of the room today, i'm pretty sure that the audience will stay in line. [laughter] but now, it's great. it will keep us all lively here this morning.
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as the mayor mentioned, it was founded about a simple principle which is it's possible to respect the second amendment rights of law-abiding citizens wanting more to keep guns out of hands of criminals. mayors really see this issue from unique perspective i think as public officials. they are responsible for driving crime than in the cities. they're looking for evidence-based practical solutions that they can implement that will save lives. they are less about the ideology of the issue and i think is a recognition six years ago that the debate about gun policy and become so polarizing, aren't become so polarized and the rhetoric was so polarizing that there was really a safe for mrsa talk about solution that was productive. since then, as working for the mayor, i've conducted three undercover investigations for him and for illegal gun sales whether a gun sales are online. i wanted to mention that because someone to researchers here have supported that work. i remember when we started looking at gun shows, the ropes,
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took us around can you see footage from her gun show undercover investigation i believe you on today. daniel webster has been in chanel investigate geezers, mayor bloomberg mentioned that earlier today. so i think mayor bloomberg outline what as an organization what we wanted in congress. we want to do three things to require background checks it against the, limit access to high capacity magazine for assault weapons, and strengthen our federal gun trafficking laws. if you have any -- if you ask any advocate in this day, i think if you had to, hopefully will get everything we want but if you had to pick one thing that will drive down crime in this country and save lives it will be improving the background check system. and i think as i speak for myself, our top priority. philip cook grave a great overview of the weaknesses in the current system, and i want to focus today a little bit on, i think was either a third actually weakness that he identified which was the
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background check system is only as good as the records that informed these decisions. so i want to take you back, i guess five, ma six years ago not to the virginia tech shooting. i'm sure many of you remember that as one of the worst shootings in history of our country. the shooter in the case had been an adjudicated mentally ill by the court in virginia, and the court record was never forwarded to the instant background check system, and then the shooter after that past several national instant background checks and was able to purchase handguns. even use his handgun to shoot 32 people at the virginia tech campus before taking his own life. this really threw into start, the promise these records are not in the system. it's not academic from it's not the data from. immediately after that, congress passed a bipartisan law to try to motivate states to get these
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records and. they can't by law for states to report them, so the law had -- [inaudible]. the stick was that if you are state the center for mental health records to the system, if you're not hitting a target you will have parts of your federal grant money and allies. the carrot is that authorize a lot of a lot of fun and healthy states improve their system. there's a recognition that is very difficult, if a state does not start this process of collecting and reporting mental health records that without funding and technological improvements is going to be difficult for them to do that. several years later we had a mass shooting in tucson, arizona, and the circumstances around the gun bias, they were complicated, but the shooter in tucson did fail a drug test when applying for admission to the army. there's conflicting accounts about that, and admitted on his form while seeking employment for the army that he was a drug abuser. by federal law, the department of defense or the army is
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required to report records of drug abuse as a background check system. he passed a background check with any of that, and again, grew in stark relief that this issue of reporting adequate reporting records in the system is putting guns in the hands of mass shooters. after the tucson shooting our organization did a comprehensive investigation into this problem. what's really happening here? you have 50 states, many of them are not reporting records into the system. why not? and are they? a we obtained data from the fbi, and we know actually as of last month that there are still 19 states in the country who are reporting fewer than 100 mental health records into the system. that means there are 19 states where anyone who would be disqualified again because other mental health issue will pass a background check even if they're not buy from a private seller and not undergoing the background check. when we look at why this is happening, what we did was we
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conducted 50 or more phone interviews with state officials from 49 states, and just picked up the phone and said what's going on? which i think may not be the most scientific approach, but we learned a lot. and i have a brief presentation here today. i don't have slides, and all of the result of these interviews are they will online through our organization's website, if you're curious to read them. a few things really stood out. one major barrier to state reporting these records are the state privacy laws. the state legislature has to come together, have enough political will to pass a law mandating reporting of these records but it's important to know for people who focus on privacy issues when the issues when it will health record goes into instant background check system, nobody can access it unless you're a law enforcement official running a background check for the purpose of guns. no state officials, no gunfire, no gun dealer, no one has access to that information. we recently looked at the data it can, and we saw that 19 of
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the 21 best performing state in terms of per capita records have pass a state law. there's a huge association between passing the state laws to overcome privacy concerns, and successfully reporting records. other issues are more technology-based. pennsylvania's 278,000 mental health records in the state system and can't figure out how to get them into the federal system. i know that something the newly elected governor came will be focusing on as she moves forward. that's a technology problem. then a huge problem is funding. so of the 10 states that it done the most, have improved those over the last two years since we sort our investigation, a them have received funding from the federal government. i want to pause here and take a step back from the research and say something as an advocate. fastening in lester's federal budget that the administration proposed a budget that $4 million, funding for this problem. the authorization is $187 million.
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$4 million would cover florida alone. the republican house increased the budget of $129. $129 but what i find interesting about that is chairman wilson from virginia, virginia does receive this money but the workers of the virginia tech families over years and years of going into his offices and explaining why this is a critical. governor mcdonald and chairman wolf from virginia make sure that the funding of pro-patient increased in the republican house, and then the democratic senate reduce it a bit and we've been under a continuing resolution which is a talk for another day. but the funding is critical. so i'm running out of time, and i promised danya i would not go over. i'll just leave by saying that we have seen tremendous improvement in this year part of it is shedding light on the problem. part of the work from the governor's offices and having people reach out to them. this is a problem that can be solved. to go back to the first problem that phil cook identified in the background check system, even if we get all the records in, which
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i think we can, there's still legal to buy guns without a background shot with -- background check. a young man was blocked from buying a gun in organ to organ has been reporting records but he then went to the southwest border and found a private seller online. call the private seller. met him and a parking lot, took it to pittsburgh and shot eight people in a psychiatric hospital. so you're going to this over and over again throughout the conference. the number one thing we can do is require a background check for every guns are. we have to get the records in but we've got to do that first part. i'm very hopeful we can do it. there's tremendous consensus. 74% of nra members want to do this. 82% of gun owners. over 90% of americans. we're starting to hear it on the hill from people you wouldn't expect to be allies. many gun owners -- they want this, too. i just think we have to come
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together and do it. so thank you, daniel, for letting us be a part of today. [applause] >> thank you, janey. i'll just remind people, we'll have a little bit of time when we finish this panel foursome open question and answer and discussion. our next paper, first off is jeffrey swanson. doctor swanson is a world expert in connection between mental illness and violence and more recently looking at the gun policy issues. dr. swanson, however, is having some voice problem so his co-author, lisa -- or linda, is going to make the presentation your she's a professor at the university of connecticut. [applause]
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>> good morning. first let me apologize in advance for not being jeff swanson. i'm going to do my best to deliver his presentation, and hopefully, you'll be able to do some of the discussion later on. so, we are going to be talking about the impact of gun restrictions on people with mental illness and their violent behavior. i want to give a quick acknowledgment to our collaborators from duke and from connecticut. and, of course, our research sponsors. socom let me start by setting
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the stage, and answering the question, which mentally ill folks are prohibited from buying a gun. these are people who were either committed to a mental institution, or who have been adjudicated as a mental perspective. this is language that has no clinical meaning today, and most advocates consider it stigmatizing and offensive. specifically as defined in the regulations you can't buy a gun if you have been deemed to be dangerous due to your mental illness come mental illness, to have been incompetent to manage on thursday to mental elvis, to be incompetent to stand for, or to be acquitted by reason of insanity. unfortunately, that 1968 law was ineffective because of everything you've heard about earlier about the loopholes. and later, some of these loopholes were closed up when they instituted national background checks.
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today, people are asking the question -- i'm sorry. today, people are asking the question, can these laws be effective in limiting access to those people, those rare individuals with a mental this order who possess a risk of real violence? win the majority of people with mental illness in the community are just not violate. the problem with the categorical exclusion against mental illness is that people with mental illness are really just people with a full range of human characteristics. they are not defined by their mental illness alone, or by having a history of involuntary commitment and their behavior is that predicted or explained by psychology. so how does the state implement this federal law, identify changes people in the background check process and deny them their access to guns? connecticut began reporting
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mental health records in early 2007. we have an automatic transfer of gun -- to a blackbox system between a mental health agency and the state police, web reporting authority. this is just their identity. i have to say that the confidential psychiatric records are not given to anyone outside of the mental health of 40. since we began reporting these records, connecticut has reported in the first year, 3000 records, and by 2013 about 14,000 records have been reported to the system. it's still considered a partial failure by the mayors against illegal guns, which as your earlier released a report last year tally the number of mental health records each state has submitted come and ranking each state's recording. it has come on this website we are showing here includes interactive map titled fatal gap
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endangers people buy guns in your state? the not so implicit message is that states are reporting of mental-health records to the background check database is partly to blame for senseless deaths and mass shootings. but the real question is, does the reporting work at all? is effective in reducing these -- reducing gun violence? and if it doesn't, then what? and other policy approaches. that was our question. and this is where empirical research is so much needed. these are the essential -- essential objectives our study and connecticut. we are turning out a study into other states, massachusetts and new york. but that is the first at what we've been able to conduct the analysis but you see here our aim. first examine the prevalence and the pattern of different types of firearms and disqualifications in a large sample of people diagnosed with serious mental illness in a state. in other words, defined at how much overlap that are between
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these groups. secondly, to prepare the race -- rate of violent crime, to find out how well the federal law identifies those at increased risk of violence. and then to evaluate the federal background checks policy is implemented by having state department of health records can be effective in reducing violent crime. and specifically we were examined the effectiveness of the policy both in a heterogeneous population of people with serious mental illness, including men pashtun many who are also involved in the criminal justice system. we look at a subgroup that's more homogeneous and the people who are mental health service users, excluding people with gun this qualifying criminal records. so apart from the gun disqualifiers, then would it make a difference? this slide shows our study design and our data. this started with a large sample
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of 23,000 adults with serious mental illness, received services from the mental health public systems and connecticut over the period from 2002-2009. our sample selection included those only who had a diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression. and to at least one psychiatric hospital admission in steady. the second one is especially important because it changes the nature of the overall population. as you will see very soon, there's a difference between the people in our group and general people who have mental illness. we matched and mergers longitudinal assessment from multiple state agencies, and put together the demographic and clinical characteristics, they're kind of disqualify mental-health adjudication records, they can disqualify criminal records, their arrests and criminal conviction outcomes, their hospital stays and incarceration stage. the last being important because
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we control for time at risk in the community. we conduct a quasi-experiment to analysis comparing the trends in violent crime among people with and without gun disqualifying mental health records before and after the states again doing the reporting in 2007. i also wanted to mention in terms of our method that we take the data in person month observations. so we looked at one month per person to click a look at 23,000 people times 96 months, this is over 2 million person months that we examined. now, you may have noticed that we've selected violent crime as our key outcome measure rather than gun crime. somewhat unfortunate but this is why we did it. first of all, a substantial proportion of our sample, or 39%, have been convicted of a violent crime at sometime during the eight year study period. on the other hand, only 4% of
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the sample had conviction specifically involving firearms. and why was that? we looked at the report from the office of legislative research and connecticut that showed that 92% of firearm violations in connecticut do not result in convictions due to plea bargaining and consolidation of charge. so it's not a very specific measure. so firearms convictions was not available to us in a real sense, so we had to use violent crime conviction as a proxy for gun used. on the plus side doing that, violent crime and gun use in crime are highly correlated. so it does make sense to use this as a proxy. and also violent crime is the important public health safety outcome and arguably the goal of reducing illegal use of guns. quickly let's look at the demographic characteristics. i mentioned earlier that because we were looking at a hospital is
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population they were a little bit different than what you would expect if you're used to looking at genealogical data in terms of mental-health. as you can see, 62.5% of them are male. that's higher than usual. the ethnic breakdown is not that different. safety 2.7% are non-hispanic white, 18.4% for african-americans, 60 points at% hispanic, and 62% of the race but you can see the breakdown of the diagnostic categories. but most important thing really is that first of all, that city 4% are under the age of 40. so quite a young group, and also you can see down at the bottom right at 85.9% have co-occurring substance abuse disorder. this is roughly twice as which would see an ordinary state system such as ours actually. and entirely because we select for people in the hospital. i'm going to skip this slide in
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the interest of time and move on to the graph that this is based on it, which i think gives you better information anyway. this shows how the population breaks out. of the 20,000 people with at least one hospitalization, 60.3% of them did not have any disqualifying factors at all. then we can see that 34.9% had a disqualifying criminal history, and down in a little brown circle you can see that 32.7% of them, that's all they had. they didn't have any mental-health. that's a very important group to consider in terms of alternatives. but in terms of disqualify mental-health history, 7%, a very small% that, at a disqualifying mental health history. and out of those, 4.8% also had,
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were disqualified and were overlapping with people with criminal history at a rate up to 22%. now again, -- to point to 2%. i wanted to be able to show you the unadjusted frequency of violent crime by gun disqualifying mental health status and nics policy. and these are too much detail. let me just say that you can see that there was a decline in that box of over 50% in the estimated annualized crime rate, comparing before and after nics. so this is the subsample of people who are legally disqualified but not criminally disqualified. and -- but that, of course, is not a causal relationship because we need to put in the controlled analysis. okay, so now i'm giving you the key findings.
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the risk factors for violent crime in people with mental calmness has found in the general population taking. we are more likely to permit -- commit violent crime if you're young, if you are male, if you're african-american, if you're hispanic or if you're a substance abuser. and i should point out that being african-american and hispanic are really proxies for social and economic disadvantage, which we did not measure and could not measure directly. secondly in terms of the criminal record disqualification, people with a gun disqualifying criminal record were 1.6 times more likely to commit a future violent crime than people with no disqualifying criminal record. so we have really seen here, have it done -- a gun disqualifying record is a marker for recidivism. and since the existing gun laws did not prevent them from doing
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that, it appears that they may have obtained guns if guns were involved on the secondary mark market. so now let's look at the effect of mental-health records for qualifications. in the pre-nics three before 2007, people with they people with a gun disqualifying mental health record was admittedly more likely to commit future violent crime than their counterparts without a disqualifying record. this underlies, this reflects the underlying baseline correlation between the dangerousness criteria in the civil commitment, the disqualified, and the violent crime, the outcome. and it confirms the federal criteria. so in other words, we did see an effect or the nics on this group of people. it suggests that it is not sufficiently reduced risk. so what was the overall findings? first of all we would have to say we have mixed results because in the total cell,
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including people with criminal disqualifiers there's no nics effect. there's no significant reduction in violent crime risk from pre-to post-nics period in people with a qualifying mental-health record. but in the subsample without criminal disqualifiers there's a pattern consistent with a nics affect a significant reduction in violent crime risks from pre-to post-nics period with people with a disqualifying mental health record, they were declined from annualized rate from 6.7% to 3.1%. and you can see these results graphically in these two figures side-by-side. kind of let you can see that these two groups, the mental-health disqualified and a non-smoker health disqualified in the full sample, that's a buddies, looking at everybody, they are a different group but then never change their slow. the effect of the nics is not shown here. but on the right side when you look at just the sample without prior criminal disqualification,
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then there is a crossover. there is a significant effect of the nics because there's a greater drop in the rate of people who have been mentally health disqualified from owning guns in their rate of violent crime. okay, so in conclusion, and existing federal criteria for mental health prohibitions on firearms are far from perfect. they appear to have both over conclusive and underinclusive at the same time. however, they are correlated with increased baseline risk for violent crime in this study. so we now have at least some evidence from wednesday suggesting of the mental-health adjudication record our ties to nics can significant reduce risk of a first violent crime if people have not only disqualified by their criminal record. so achieving comprehensive state recording of mental-health records for the nics may help reduce violent crime which is facilitated by guns and thus
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improve public safety. the caveat is that our study has several limitations, and may not generalize well to other states. among people with mental illness who have a history of criminal involvement with the justice system from existing law and policy designed to prevent access to firearms, through federally licensed gun dealers, is likely to be of limited effectiveness. efforts to prevent gun violence in known criminal offenders with mental illness should also focus on reducing socially determined risk factors and improving community-based mental health outcomes for justice involved purpose. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. our next presenter will be doctor april. and assistant professor of criminal justice at michigan state university, and what i consider to be a real rising star, studying violence in
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public health applications, sort of a bridge between public health and criminology. april. [applause] >> hi. so i'm here to talk to today about policies to limit access to guns. in 2010, 1082 women and two and 57 men were killed by intimate partners. the majority of these homicides were committed with guns. most intimate partner homicides are committed with guns. as you can see from this graph from the pie chart, tracking homicides from 1976-2005. domestic violence incidents that involve guns are more likely to end in homicide and domestic
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violence incidents that involve knives, other weapons or bodily force. in the hands of violent intima intimate, guns increase the risk of intimate partner homicide, with one study estimates there's a fivefold increased risk. the evidence is pretty clear. in the hands of violent intimate, guns constitute a real and fatal threat. fortunately there are opportunities for intervention with this group. is a history of male-teen of domestic violence in most of the relationships of men and women who were killed by their intimate partner. making domestic violence against female partner the leading risk factor for intimate partner homicide, regardless of the gender of the victim of homicide. stalking is also an important risk factor for intimate partnership home side with one study estimated that 76% of homicide victims, and 85% of near homicide victims were
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stopped by their intimate partners in the time preceding the homeless at or near homicide event. now, women often go to the criminal justice system, to the courts, for redress. they go to complain about domestic violence stocking. they go to petition for criminal charges against their batterers and they go to petition for domestic violence restraining orders. and often when they do this, it is in the context of separating from or just having separated from their abusers. research suggests that first year after separation is when women are at highest risk of intimate partner homicide pics of this is a time when intervention, all the intervention we can muster are really needed. in response to this risk into the danger of guns in the hands of violent incidents, the federal government has to couple laws in the 1990s. in the first, prohibit
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possession of guns of those currently under permit domestic restraining orders or intimate partners of the petitioner. two things are important. they have to be under permit domestic violence restraining orders, and those are orders that are issued after a hearing at which the respondent had an opportunity to participate. this is not all domestic violence restraining orders. there's a class called temporary or ex parte, or emergency restraining orders that do not fall under that. furthermore the definition of intimate partner here is a little bit mayor. it only includes spouses, current or former, people who have had a child with the petitioner and those who live or lived with the petitioner. so this law covers a very narrow but dangerous group of individuals. the second while also called the lautenberg amendment, prohibits purchase and possession of guns from those -- this is a lifetime ban.
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now, and here the definition of intimate partner, those relationships that are covered, is a little bit broader than the domestic violence restraining order law restraining order law. and also covers parents and guardians, and those similarly situated to a spouse, parent or guardian. and to qualify, to be a qualifying domestic violence misdemeanor, it has to be a crime committed against one of those groups of people, and the statute that they are charged under has to have an element the use or attended use of physical force, or that with a deadly weapon. so even if the crime that the person committed involved force or threat with a deadly weapon, and was this statute they are charged under an included in the language they will not qualify. the states have also passed their own domestic violence gun prohibition in response to the problem and in response to the
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federal government passing these laws. not all states have passed state law. often, states are more expensi expensive, not always. the domestic violence restraining order laws for states often include the other group of restraining orders, those temporary restraining orders that are put in place pretty immediately after one filed for a restraining order, and they take place before a hearing at which the respondent had an opportunity to participate. so the defendant, the restraining order responded doesn't get a say in this one. that's pretty unusual in the u.s. justice system, but it is in direct response to the danger that women who file for restraining orders are in. and the second thing that states do that is more expensive in federal government is that they often include current and former dating partners explicitly in their law. so the domestic less restraint laws at the federal level currently former dating problems -- partner all include if they
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had a child with a petition or if they live or lived with petitioner. it's unclear whether or not they are covered under the misdemeanor law as people who are similarly situated to a spouse. we just don't know. but this group, current dating partner, constitutes about 35% of the intimate partner homicide perpetrators from 1976-2005, and the rate of intimate partners homicide by the script has been increasing. so this is also a very important group to cover. three studies have looked at the impact of the state laws on intimate partner homicide. each of the studies looked at about a 20 year period. two of them looked at states. the third one look that large cities in the u.s. each of these studies tracked the intimate partner homicide trends throughout this 20 period, and track when the laws
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turned on in the states that have been, and saw what happened to the intimate partner homicide trained. each of these three studies found that the domestic violence restraining order guy traction was associated with reductions in intimate partner homicide committed with guns, and total intimate partner homicide. this is important. the result was found in total intimate partner homicide as well. there was no discernible substitution effect. meaning that evidence suggests that would be killers did not substitute other weapons for guns to affect the same number of killed. so put another way, evidence suggests these domestic restraining order laws save lives. now, further analysis suggests that it is purchased, it is preventing of purchase that saves lives. some states only prevent, or only prohibit possession.
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when the analysis was broken down, the effect, the reduction in the partner homicide, was seen in states that prohibited purchase but not those that only prohibited possession. furthermore, you've heard people talk about his background check system. furthermore, the impact of the law, the reduction in intimate partner homicide was only seen in states where the federally licensed firearms dealers had an ability to check the backgrounds with these purchasers and get good, accurate, up-to-date information. the domestic violence misdemeanor gun restriction was also looked at in these studies, and, unfortunately, there was no measurable impact of this law. it could be because there's just not that many domestic violence misdemeanors for our statistical model to find an effect. it could also be because there's often no domestic violence misdemeanor crime in the state
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is just a misdemeanor crime against a certain type of victim. so it may be hard to identify who the people who should be prohibited are. and there are also likely implementation and enforcement issues that are reducing the potential impact of these laws. so for possession, if someone has a gun and they become a prohibited person, they should have begun anymore. they have to get rid of the gun somehow. research on domestic violence restraining orders looking at whether or not people who possess guns had them removed, found that prohibited persons are often not required to surrender their firearms. and guns are not being recovered by law enforcement. now, there are many steps we can take to improve that, but it suggests that people who possess firearms continued to possess them even if they are prohibited, driving down the potential effect of the use of the law. furthermore, again with the
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background check system, you heard about the purchase. private sellers do not have to check backgrounds. to make the transaction happen. so a prohibited person may still purchase that can from a private seller without any risk of being found out as disqualified. and again transaction can go through. furthermore, that disqualifying misdemeanor, that restraining order may not be in the background check system. so even if they go to a licensed user who can do a background check and does a background check, the disqualification may not be discovered, making it still purchase that weapon. so there are reasons to be hopeful. the evidence suggests that domestic violence restraining order laws save lives, and there are things that we can do to strengthen the effect of it and to strengthen the effect or find an effect of the domestic violence mi
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